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The Slave Ship: A Human History MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (1 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400154790
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400154791
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,720,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A shockingly vivid work . . . from a gifted chronicler of history's lower decks, at home in the unruly Atlantic world of pirates, slavers, sailors, runaways and rebels' (Boyd Tonkin, Independent)

'Enlightening and moving . . . Rediker comes closer than anyone so far to recreating the horrifying social reality of the Atlantic slave ship . . . If anyone doubts the reality of that human story, they only need to read Rediker's book' (James Walvin, BBC History Magazine)

'Meticulously researched . . . a terrible tale told here with great skill, clarity and compassion' (Siobhan Murphy, Metro)

'The slave ship is a powerful focus for a profound drama' (Iain Finlayson, The Times)

'A brilliantly organised and compelling study of the Atlantic slave trade . . . A truly magnificent book' (Sunday Telegraph)

'The Slave Ship provides eloquent testimony to the high human drama of Atlantic 'trafficking'; the greed of the few and the manifold misery of the many that was endured in the trivial cause of sweetness' (Ian Thomson, Spectator)

'Rediker has made magnificent use of archival data; his probing, compassionate eye turns up numerous finds that other people who've written on the subject, myself included, have missed' (Adam Hochschild, International Herald Tribune)

'Rediker has produced a gripping study of one aspect of a great evil' (Sunday Herald)

'I admire this book more than I can easily say. In range and scope and fullness of treatment and in the humaneness of its scrutiny, this account of the Atlantic slave trade is unlikely ever to be superseded' (Barry Unsworth, author of SACRED HUNGER)

'I was hardly prepared for the profound emotional impact of THE SLAVE SHIP. Reading it established a transformative and never to be severed bond with my African ancestors who were cargo in slave ships over a period of four centuries. Their courage, intelligence and self-respect; their fierce efforts to free themselves (and, though cruelly bound, to create community) moved me so deeply that, for several days, I took to my bed. There I pondered the madness of greed, the sadism of wielding absolute power over any creature in chains, the violence of attempting to dominate and possess what is innately free. For all Americans and indeed all who live in the Western world who have profited by, or suffered from, the endless brutality of the slave trade, during all its centuries and into the present, this book is homework of the most insistent order. There is no rebalancing of our wrecked planet without sitting with, and absorbing, the horrifying reality of what was done, by whites, (Alice Walker, author of THE COLOUR OF PURPLE)

'The Slave Ship is a tour de force . . . Never before has the reality of the trade been so comprehensively and subtly conveyed' (Robin Blackburn, author of THE MAKING OF THE NEW WORLD SLAVERY)

'The Atlantic's foremost historian from below has written a masterpiece' (Peter Linebaugh, author of THE LONDON HANGED) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The human drama of the slave trade told from a new perspective, from the decks of the slave ship

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
A voyage into this peculiar hell begins with the human seascape, stories of the people whose lives were shaped by the slave trade. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jon on 1 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Marcus Rediker's examination of the engine of the slave trade is in fact a very human story. He starts from the ship itself but does not neglect the variety of coasts and communities from which the human traffic of the slave trade was dragged away.
The trade was horrific, especially in the detail. Here Rediker's documentary approach to the black diaspora has a written moral equivalency with Lanzman's film investigation of the Shoah.
The big names of the fight against the trade do not always stand up to close examination: he suggests that Newton behaved in truly brutal fashion before his conversion to the abolitionist cause. Clarkson comes out better. He literally risked his life on the waterfront of Bristol and Liverpool to gain interviews with the seamen who could give the essential evidence from inside the story of the trade.
The investigation looks at all levels of the shipboard hierarchy. The African slaves themselves are rightly central to this "bottom up" history and Rediker shows that they were of all ages, classes, backgrounds and peoples. An interesting section considers their variety of languages and the extent to which they were able to communicate with each other.
The new reader may be surprised at the level of resistance which was played out on the ships, with suicide the final possibility for freedom.
In line with his Marxist approach to history, we see that the crews of the these ships suffered alongside the slaves, even while they were obliged to chain, beat and humiliate them. Many of the miserable sailors were tricked into taking ship to the coasts of West Africa and many died there, on the Middle Passage or were abandoned in the ports of the West Indies or the American south.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S Wood on 1 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
The Slave Ship itself is the focus of Marcus Redikers well written and thoughtful book on the British and American slave trade of the 18th Century: the ships themselves, the people who owned them, their captains, officers and ordinary sailors aswell as the enslaved Africans. The picture that the book paints is detailed and vivid covering everything from the construction of the Slave ships, to their manning, the voyage out from Britain loaded with trade goods, the time spent off Africa buying up slaves and the middle passage to the West Indies and mainland America.

Rediker captures the experiences of all those involved from a variety of sources (ships logs, autobiography, the anti-slavery societies, testomony to parliament). The experiences of the enslaved Africans whose journey often started deep within the continent, to capture and sale by their fellow Africans, collaborators in the noxious trade. Their experience on the ships, the brutality of the disciplinary regime and frequent resistance to enslavement are illuminated in countless examples that Rediker generalises into persistant themes. The ordinary sailors lot is put across well, from how they were recruited, their treatment at the hands of the ships captain and his officers, the effect the various stages of the trade had on them, and the risks they faced. Once the cargo of slaves was eventually sold in the Americas and the ships loaded with commodities for the final leg of the journey back to Britain a proportion of the crew seem to have been regarded as surplus, the high manning levels that were required for a cargo of slaves were no longer necessary. They frequently seem to have been left in the Americas, no longer needed and very seldom paid: an earlier ages flexible labour market.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. V. Belfield on 11 April 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The reviews above cover the ground quite adequately, so let me just add this: The Slave Ship is a powerful piece of essential background for all who live in today's capitalist economies.

As one reviewer elsewhere so poignantly put it (Alice Walker), this book is homework of the most insistent order. The very least that we, especially the descendents of the slave-dealing participants, must do for those who suffered this terrible criminality, is try to comprehend what happened and why. Reading this book brings to mind Primo Levi's insistent plea that we listen; we, the generations who now can view the whole sorry disgrace that was the slave trade with the comfort of hindsight, have an obligation and a need to do so.

That said, it is both galling and deeply sad that there exist so precious few accounts from the slaves and participants themselves. This book tries to offer some redress, and succeeds.

The one image which remains to haunt you from this masterful history book, is the one of the slaves singing. Often in chains, usually in the stink of the cramped below-decks, and most movingly at night, as they were wrenched ever further away from their homes in the fetid Hell that was the floating dungeon of their slave ship, the Africans would sing on the high seas, sometimes in a call and response around the hold, to give voice to their extreme misfortune. Did they know that there was no happy ending, that they were headed to a certain death through toil and hard labour on a different continent, all to keep the coiffured whitefolks in sugar and cotton?

It must have been the Blues as we have never heard it and only God and the Ocean can.
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