The Trader, the Owner, the Slave: Parallel Lives in the Age of Slavery (Hardback)James Walvin (author)
Hardback Published: 01/03/2007
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There has been nothing like Atlantic slavery. About twelve million Africans loaded onto the notorious slave ships, marshalled and transported in unbearable conditions to work the tropical lands of the Americas was a form of oppression, driven by economics on a global scale, which lasted for the best part of four centuries. The story of slavery embraces the lives of many millions of people: Africans, Europeans and Americans. Its scope and the ways in which it has shaped the modern world are so far-reaching as to make it ungraspable. This book therefore takes a unique course. It focuses on the lives of three individuals caught up in the enterprise of human enslavement - a trader, John Newton, an owner, Thomas Thistlewood, and a slave, Olaudah Equiano. Their parallel lives are microcosms of the larger story: together they provide an account of slavery at its peak and how it was finally brought to its knees. John Newton (1725-1807), best known as the author of "Amazing Grace", was a slave captain who marshalled his human cargoes with a brutality that he looked back on with shame and contrition. Thomas Thistlewood (1721-86) lived his life in a remote corner of western Jamaica and his unique diary provides some of the most revealing images of a slave owner's life in the most valuable of all British slave colonies. Olaudah Equiano (1745-97) was practically unknown thirty years ago, but is now an iconic figure in black history and his experience as a slave speaks out for lives of millions who went unrecorded. All three men were contemporaries; they even came close to each other at different points of the Atlantic compass. But what held them together, in its destructive gravitational pull, was the Atlantic slave system. As the 200th anniversary of abolition draws near, a profusion of events and commemorations in Britain and abroad will mark the occasion. This book will offer a new view and a fresh interpretation of the world of slavery which, in 1807, was destined to end.
Weight: 505 g
Dimensions: 223 x 144 x 28 mm
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