The Slave Ship: A Human History

Front Cover
John Murray, 2007 - Merchant mariners - 434 pages
3 Reviews

The slave ship was the instrument of history's greatest forced migration and a key to the origins and growth of global capitalism, yet much of its history remains unknown. Marcus Rediker uncovers the extraordinary human drama that played out on this world-changing vessel. Drawing on thirty years of maritime research, he demonstrates the truth of W.E.B DuBois's observation: the slave trade was 'the most magnificent drama in the last thousand years of human history'.

The Slave Ship focuses on the so-called 'golden age' of the slave trade, the period of 1700-1808, when more than six million people were transported out of Africa, most of them on British and American ships, across the Atlantic, to slave on New World plantations. Marcus Rediker tells poignant tales of life, death and terror as he captures the shipboard drama of brutal discipline and fierce resistance. He reconstructs the lives of individuals, such as John Newton, James Field Stanfield and Olaudah Equiano, and the collective experience of captains, sailors and slaves. Mindful of the haunting legacies of race, class and slavery, Marcus Rediker offers a vivid and unforgettable portrait of the ghost ship of our modern consciousness.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - vivycakes - LibraryThing

Well-researched and detailed description of the Atlantic slave trade & human relationships in the slave ship. Perhaps it could have been organized a little differently, because it gets very repetitive ... Read full review

THE SLAVE SHIP: A Human History

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

"Making the slave ship real, "historian Rediker (History/Univ. of Pittsburgh) revivifies the horror of this world-changing machine.By 1807, more than nine-million Africans in shackles, manacles, neck ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Marcus Rediker holds a Ph.D in history from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. One of America's foremost maritime and Atlantic historians, he has held several fellowships and lectured around the world. He is author of four books, including (with Peter Linebaugh) the prize-winning The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic.

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