Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution Paperback – 2 Apr 2009
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"This brilliant book by the leading historian of our times about a subject of great significance will delight professional historians and entrance the reading public. Rough Crossings succeeds in all respects. It is a 'tour de force' and a landmark in historical scholarship" (Times Higher Education Supplement)
"Schama's gift for plunging us into the very centre of the action, whether in Charleston, London or on the African coast, makes reading an exhilarating experience" (Daily Telegraph)
"Brilliant and deeply moving" (Observer)
"Schama has a remarkable ability to stare into the anonymous faces in the crowd and to pluck them from historical obscurity. Rough Crossings gives voice to people who have, until now, remained mere names on duty lists" (James Walvin)
"One only has to dip into Rough Crossings to appreciate the command of detail that lies behind his apparently effortless ability to come up with the right quotation or description" (Times Literary Supplement)
The astonishing story of the struggle to freedom by thousands of African-American slaves in the American War of IndependenceSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As a black man, I came to this book to learn about the experience of the slaves from yet another perspective. However, the book is so well written, the story told with such great style that I was quickly shifted from my narrow perspective and was drawn fully into the complexities of the revolution and its making.
The germ of the making of the revolution is clearly revealed by Schama. The scheming, the wheeler dealings and deceit are all there. An early passage in the book states: "In the experience of both David George and Boston King (the best sources we have for the experience of blacks in the Revolutionary War), the British could appear as both benefactors and theives, hard-hearted and kind-hearted; yet there was never any question about the ultimate allegiance of these two."
But Rough Crossings is more than a histoy of the American revolution; Britian's response and the experience of slaves, it is also a political and geographical history. In other works, it is also about the formation of 'states'. Schama's outline of the makings of settlements in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone is quite revealing of the politics of betrayal and brutishness that ensued. He clearly shows us life from the seedy to the pretentiousness of high civility.Read more ›
Schama's Rough crossing, not only filled in the missing gaps, but was full of very important pieces of information about the populations and conditions of black people in London in the late 1700s, the involvement of the clackson brothers in the abolition movement. The account, although shows how important a role wilberfoce played in the London Abolition movement as the advocate in parliament, there were other instrumental figures who commiteed their whole lifes to the pursuits of shaping the English laws to improve the lifes of former slaves in England and the slave colonies. Schame explores extensively the American war of independence and the role of slaves in the fait of that war.Read more ›
Rough Crossings chronicles the politics, warfare, commerce and human experience surrounding the practical application of the campaign to abolish the slave trade. It was Gore Vidal who described several of the founding fathers of the United States as dedicated slave owners, eager to protect their investments.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
written with a distorting racist view of the world. some illuminating narratives but buys into the historical dehumanising of black people. Read morePublished 11 months ago by michael williams
Simon Schama demonstrates once again that history is not neat and tidy. The truth is seldom plain and never simple, someone once said. Read morePublished 13 months ago by JaguarJon53
Writes in a similar vein to his television programmes so full of fascinating detail & zips along at a fast pace on a subject unknown to me. Good storyteller too. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Lindsey Clare Gee-Turner
During the American War of Independence, the British made an offer to those they had formerly seen as slaves 'Come and fight for us and we will guarantee your freedom'. Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2012 by Andrew Fontenelle
A very important book which tells a hidden or little known story about slavery. Schama goes into such incredible detail and shows his mastery of meticulous research. Read morePublished on 20 Oct. 2011 by Eartha Josephine
There is a certain atmosphere that Simon Schama invokes that makes you forget that this is a well researched history. Read morePublished on 12 July 2011 by D. J. Andrews
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