Captives as Commodities: The Transatlantic Slave Trade

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Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008 - Business & Economics - 174 pages
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Part of Prentice Hall's Connection: Key Themes in World History series.


Written based on the author's annual course on slave trade, Captives as Commodities examines three key themes:  1) the African context surrounding the Atlantic slave trade,  2)  the history of the slave trade itself, and 3) the changing meaning of race and racism.  The author draws recent scholarship to provide students with an understanding of Atlantic slave trade.

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Captives as Commodities is an educational novel based on the Atlantic slave trade that approaches the topic from many different viewpoints. The author, Lisa A. Lindsay, writes of how the Africans were viewed as commodities instead of humans, hence the title. She stresses the importance of the Transatlantic slave trade being the first occurrence that humans were used as cargo. For on one hand, the Atlantic slave trade was indeed trade, and as such it bears comparison of a variety of global commercial networks. On the other hand, unlike other commodities driving cross-cultural exchange in world history, slaves were human, with all this implies about their vulnerability to pain a discomfort, and their capacity to resist. She addresses multiple important themes throughout her novel and relays the historical content in a historical yet relatable way. Overall, a very educational and informative novel that is easily read and understood.  


Overview of the Atlantic Slave Trade
The Old World Background to New World Slavery

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About the author (2008)

Lisa A. Lindsay holds a Ph.D. in African history from University of Michigan and teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Before developing her scholarship on the slave trade, she published Working with Gender: Wage Labor and Social Change in Southwestern Nigeria, Men and Masculinities in Modern Africa (co-edited with Stephen F. Miescher), and scholarly articles on colonial Nigeria.  She has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Socities, the National Humanities Center, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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