Books about Slavery

  • BSXIY
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    The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the course of his lifetime and published his own newspaper. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery. Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, often to large crowds, using his own story to condemn slavery. He broke with Garrison to become a political abolitionist, a Republican, and eventually a Lincoln supporter. By the Civil War and during Reconstruction, Douglass became the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. He denounced the premature end of Reconstruction and the emerging Jim Crow era. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. He sometimes argued politically with younger African-Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights. In this remarkable biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass's newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating story of Douglass's two marriages and his complex extended family. Douglass was not only an astonishing man of words, but a thinker steeped in Biblical story and theology. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight's Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves.
  • AWZUC
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    Many think slavery ended with the demise of the trans-Atlantic trade, but sadly, that's far from true. An estimated thirty-six million live without dignity or rights and although slavery is illegal in every country, it continues to persist in all - as a crime against humanity. Lisa Kristine's indelible images seek to unify humanity and inform the viewer of the tangible humanness of individuals enslaved today. Lisa was invited to the Vatican as a witness to the signing of the Declaration to Eradicate Modern Day Slavery by 2020. When Pope Francis gathered twenty-five of the world's distinguished faith leaders the message was clear - slavery is not a political issue - it is a crime against humanity, against all people. Lisa's journey sheds light on the need for a global shift from dependence on slave labour, to fair trade labour systems available and active in many parts of the world today. It is not simply a story about slavery, but liberation. In order to create change, we must first visualise what is required to free those enslaved today. Bound to Freedom focuses on inspiring us to engage in the reality of slavery - to make us aware of the depth of its reach and insist we begin to look for solutions across faiths, communities, and the world. The call is for a renewed commitment to cooperate and to empower those enslaved to be seen.
  • BMOIA
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    In the summer of 1845, Frederick Douglass, the young runaway slave catapulted to fame by his incendiary autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, arrived in Liverpool for the start of a near-two-year tour of Britain and Ireland he always called one of the most transformative periods of his life. Laurence Fenton draws on a wide array of sources from both sides of the Atlantic and combines a unique insight into the early years of one of the great figures of the nineteenth-century world with rich profiles of the enormous personalities at the heart of the transatlantic anti-slavery movement. This vivid portrait of life in Victorian Britain is the first to fully explore the `liberating sojourn' that ended with Douglass gaining his freedom - paid for by British supporters - before returning to America as a celebrity and icon of international standing. It also follows his later life, through the American Civil War and afterwards. Douglass has been described as `the most influential African American of the nineteenth century'. He spoke and wrote on behalf of a variety of reform causes: women's rights, temperance, peace, land reform, free public education and the abolition of capital punishment. But he devoted most of his time, immense talent and boundless energy to ending slavery. On April 14, 1876, Douglass would deliver the keynote speech at the unveiling of the Emancipation Memorial in Washington's Lincoln Park.
  • BSMQX
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    The sugar planter Simon Taylor, who claimed ownership of over 2,248 enslaved people in Jamaica at the point of his death in 1813, was one of the wealthiest slaveholders ever to have lived in the British empire. Slavery was central to the eighteenth-century empire. Between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries, hundreds of thousands of enslaved people were brought from Africa to the Caribbean to toil and die within the brutal slave regime of the region, most of them destined for a life of labour on large sugar plantations. Their forced labour provided the basis for the immense fortunes of plantation owners like Taylor; it also produced wealth that poured into Britain. However, a tumultuous period that saw the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions, as well as the rise of the abolitionist movement, witnessed new attacks on slavery and challenged the power of a once-confident slaveholder elite. In White Fury, Christer Petley uses Taylor's rich and expressive letters to allow us an intimate glimpse into the aspirations and frustrations of a wealthy and powerful British slaveholder during the Age of Revolution. The letters provide a fascinating insight into the merciless machinery and unpredictable hazards of the Jamaican plantation world; into the ambitions of planters who used the great wealth they extracted from Jamaica to join the ranks of the British elite; and into the impact of wars, revolutions, and fierce political struggles that led, eventually, to the reform of the exploitative slave system that Taylor had helped build . . . and which he defended right up until the last weak scratches of his pen.
  • BGLHR
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    The story of sugar, and of mankind's desire for sweetness in food and drink is a compelling, though confusing story. It is also an historical story. The story of mankind's love of sweetness - the need to consume honey, cane sugar, beet sugar and chemical sweeteners - has important historical origins. To take a simple example, two centuries ago, cane sugar was vital to the burgeoning European domestic and colonial economies. For all its recent origins, today's obesity epidemic - if that is what it is - did not emerge overnight, but instead evolved from a complexity of historical forces which stretch back centuries. We can only fully understand this modern problem, by coming to terms with its genesis and history: and we need to consider the historical relationship between society and sweetness over a long historical span. This book seeks to do just that: to tell the story of how the consumption of sugar - the addition of sugar to food and drink - became a fundamental and increasingly troublesome feature of modern life. Walvin's book is the heir to Sidney Mintz's Sweetness and Power, a brilliant sociological account, but now thirty years old. In addition, the problem of sugar, and the consequent intellectual and political debate about the role of sugar, has been totally transformed in the years since that book's publication.
  • AVGQC
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    This official tie-in to the highly acclaimed film, The Birth of a Nation, surveys the history and legacy of Nat Turner, the leader of one of the most renowned slave rebellions on American soil, while also exploring Turner's relevance to contemporary dialogues on race relations. Based on astounding events in American history, The Birth of a Nation is the epic story of one man championing the spirit of resistance as he leads a rough-and-tumble group into a revolt against injustice and slavery. Breathing new life into a story that has been rife with controversy and prejudice for over two centuries, the film follows the rise of the visionary Virginian slave, Nat Turner. Hired out by his owner to preach to and placate slaves on drought-plagued plantations, Turner eventually transforms into an inspired, impassioned, and fierce anti-slavery leader. The Birth of a Nation reframes the way we think about slavery and resistance as it explores the passion, determination, and faith that inspired Nat Turner to sacrifice everything for freedom.
  • AZAUJ
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    Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution,the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward E. Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told , the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. Winner of the 2015 Avery O. Craven Prize from the Organization of American HistoriansWinner of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize Bloomberg View Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2014 Daily Beast Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
  • BHMNR
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    Rough Crossings is the astonishing story of the struggle to freedom by thousands of African-American slaves who fled the plantations to fight behind British lines in the American War of Independence. With gripping, powerfully vivid story-telling, Simon Schama follows the escaped blacks into the fires of the war, and into freezing, inhospitable Nova Scotia where many who had served the Crown were betrayed in their promises to receive land at the war's end. Their fate became entwined with British abolitionists: inspirational figures such as Granville Sharp, the flute-playing father-figure of slave freedom, and John Clarkson, the 'Moses' of this great exodus, who accompanied the blacks on their final rough crossing to Africa, where they hoped that freedom would finally greet them.
  • BAUHU
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    A stark expose of the enslavement, trafficking, sexual starvation and general abuse of workers in the Gulf Arab Region.
  • BSBTI
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    Slavery was illegal in Britain, but the transatlantic slave trade left a physical mark on the UK. There are monuments to philanthropists who made their wealth through slavery, there were houses built from the profits made in slavery, and enslaved labour was used to produce items such as sugar and cotton. Many city landscapes bear the names of those involved or profited. This book will give an overview on slavery and will tell the story of the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade on Britain. The book will challenge misconceptions of the built British landscape and show how profits from slavery went into the construction of many iconic buildings. It also explores how freed enslaved Africans left their mark on Britain and how those who opposed slavery, and those in favour of maintaining slavery, are represented in statues throughout the country.
  • BBCSX
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    'In overthrowing me, you have done no more than cut down the trunk of the tree of liberty - it will spring back from the roots, for they are numerous and deep.' - Toussaint Louverture The leader of the only successful slave revolt in history, Toussaint Louverture is seen by many to be one of the greatest anti-imperialist fighters who ever lived. Born into slavery on a Caribbean plantation, he was able to break from his bondage to lead an army of freed African slaves to victory against the professional armies of France, Spain and Britain in the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804. In this biography, Louverture's fascinating life is explored through the prism of his radical politics. It champions this 'black Robespierre' whose revolutionary legacy had inspired people and movements in the two centuries since his death. For anyone interested in the roots of modern-day resistance movements and black political radicalism, Louverture's extraordinary life provides the perfect starting point.
  • AXDEP
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    Former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, in his own words Considered to be the most famous work written by a former slave, this memoir, first published in 1845 set the tone for the American abolitionist movement. Within four months of its publication, it had sold more than five thousand copies. The book not only describes Douglass' life as a slave, but it also reveals his tremendous journey to becoming a free man. This elegantly designed clothbound edition features an elastic closure and a new introduction.
  • BMGRE
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    Originally published in 1853, Twelve Years a Slave is a haunting portrayal of stolen freedom and brutal life on the sugar and cotton plantations of the Deep South. Landowner, carpenter, and skilled violinist Solomon Northup is living comfortably with his wife and children in Saratoga, New York, when two circus promoters offer him work as a traveling musician. They then drug and kidnap him, and Northup is sold into slavery and transported to Louisiana, spending twelve grueling years in captivity, at the whim of several ruthless slave owners. With its gripping and horrendous accounts of slave life in the Deep South, Solomon Northup's seminal memoir is now available as an elegantly designed clothbound edition with an elastic closure and a new introduction.
  • AHIJC
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    Written by the world's leading experts and campaigners, Modern Slavery: A Beginner's Guide blends original research with shocking first-hand accounts from slaves themselves around the world to reveal the truth behind one of the worst humanitarian crises facing us today. Only a handful of slaves are reached and freed each year, but the authors offer hope for the future with a global blueprint that proposes to end slavery in our lifetime All royalties will go to Free the Slaves.
  • BGJJB
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    The Maroons (escaped slaves) of Jamaica are famous. Not so the Maroons of another Caribbean island - Dominica, also a former British colony. Dominica's Maroons once controlled much of this wild and mountainous island but few details of their story of resistance and ultimate defeat have been known - until now. Written by Dominica's leading history, In the Forests of Freedom is a stirring account of how a displaced and enslaved people fought to create a free and self-sufficient society. From the Africans who took refuge on the island in the 16th century, through the two brutal Maroon Wars in the last decades of slavery, to the building of a post-emancipation nation, In the Forests of Freedom takes the reader deep into the hinterland of the Dominica story.
  • BDBHB
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    Illegal, inhuman, and impervious to recession, there is one trade that continues to thrive, just out of sight. The international sex trade criss-crosses the entire globe, a sinister network made up of criminal masterminds, local handlers, corrupt policemen, wilfully blind politicians, eager consumers, and countless exploited women and children. In this ground-breaking work of investigative reporting, the celebrated journalist Lydia Cacho follows the trail of the traffickers and their victims from Mexico to Turkey, Thailand to Iraq, Georgia to the UK, to expose the trade's hidden links with the tourist industry, internet pornography, drugs and arms smuggling, the selling of body organs, money laundering, and even terrorism. Shocking and sobering, Slavery Inc. is an exceptional book, both for the colossal scope of its enquiry, and for the tenacious bravery with which Cacho pursues the truth.
  • BSVBY
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    Get the lowdown on America's Bloodiest War-the Civil War-with this essential guide to 101 interesting and unexpected facts about this defining event in US history. Do you know which state first seceded from the Union? What about the individual who could be considered the Mata Hari of the Civil War? Or how about which Bible passage Southerners used to justify slavery? You'll find answers to these questions and many, many more in 101 Things You Didn't Know about the Civil War. Packed with fascinating details about the people, places, and events that defined our nation's most contentious conflict, this tell-all guide reveals the inside scoop on slavery and its impact on the war; great-and not-so-great-leaders and generals; battles fought and lost-and fought again; some of the most shocking horrors of the war; women, children, and African Americans in the war. Complete with a helpful timeline, 101 Things You Didn't Know about the Civil War is your go-to guide for little-known facts about the war that dramatically altered the course of American history forever.
  • ADCOP
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    The History of Mary Prince (1831) was the first narrative of a black woman to be published in Britain. It describes Prince's sufferings as a slave in Bermuda, Turks Island and Antigua, and her eventual arrival in London with her brutal owner Mr Wood in 1828. Prince escaped from him and sought assistance from the Anti-Slavery Society, where she dictated her remarkable story to Susanna Strickland (later Moodie). A moving and graphic document, The History drew attention to the continuation of slavery in the Caribbean, despite an 1807 Act of Parliament officially ending the slave trade. It inspired two libel actions and ran into three editions in the year of its publication. This powerful rallying cry for emancipation remains an extraordinary testament to Prince's ill-treatment, suffering and survival.
  • BCQGG
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    For over three centuries, slavery in the Americas fuelled the growth of capitalism. The stirrings of a revolutionary age in the late eighteenth century challenged this "peculiar institution" and set the scene for great acts of emancipation in Haiti in 1804, in the United States in the 1860s, and Brazil in the 1880s. Blackburn argues that the anti-slavery movement helped forge the political and social ideals we live by today.
  • BHCGZ
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    The Fearless Benjamin Lay chronicles the transatlantic life and times of a singular and astonishing man-a Quaker dwarf who became one of the first white people ever to demand the total, unconditional emancipation of all enslaved Africans around the world. He performed public guerrilla theatre to shame slave masters, insisting that human bondage violated the fundamental principles of Christianity. He wrote a fiery, controversial book against bondage that Benjamin Franklin published in 1738. He lived in a cave, made his own clothes, refused to consume anything produced by slave labour, championed animal rights, and embraced vegetarianism. He acted on his ideals to create a new, practical, revolutionary way of life.
  • BOGOW
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    Even the men in black armor, the ones Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else Are they so buffered against, if not love's blade Sizing up the heart's familiar meat? In Wade in the Water, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith's signature voice - inquisitive, lyrical and wry - turns over what it means to be a citizen, a mother and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men and violence. The various connotations of the title, taken from a spiritual once sung on the Underground Railroad which smuggled slaves to safety in 19th-century America, resurface throughout the book, binding past and present together. Collaged voices and documents recreate both the correspondence between slave owners and the letters sent home by African Americans enlisted in the US Civil War. Survivors' reports attest to the experiences of recent immigrants and refugees. Accounts of near-death experiences intertwine with the modern-day fallout of a corporation's illegal pollution of a major river and the surrounding land; and, in a series of beautiful lyrical pieces, the poet's everyday world and the growth and flourishing of her daughter are observed with a tender and witty eye. Marrying the contemporary and the historical to a sense of the transcendent, haunted and holy, this is a luminous book by one of America's essential poets.
  • BOKYN
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    Abducted from Africa, sold in America. The compelling true story of one of the last survivors of the Atlantic Slave Trade, Barracoon recounts one man's fight for freedom. After being illegally smuggled as "Black Cargo" fifty years after the abolition of slavery, Cudjo Lewis spent nearly six years in captivity before being finally emancipated. Cudjo casts light on the circumstances of his capture and his detention in a barracoon, before embarking on his journey through the Middle Passage, to his arrival in the Unites States on the Alabama River. This never-before published work, from the best-selling American author of Their Eyes are Watching God, brilliantly illuminates the tragedy of slavery and one life forever defined by it.
  • BTBSI
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    In 1962, aged just 24, William Melvin Kelley's debut novel A Different Drummer earned him critical comparisons to James Baldwin and William Faulkner. Fifty-five years later, author and journalist Kathryn Schulz happened upon the novel serendipitously and was inspired to write the New Yorker article 'The Lost Giant of American Literature', included as a foreword to this edition. June, 1957. One afternoon, in the backwater town of Sutton, a young black farmer by the name of Tucker Caliban matter-of-factly throws salt on his field, shoots his horse and livestock, sets fire to his house and departs the southern state. And thereafter, the entire African-American population leave with him. The reaction that follows is told across a dozen chapters, each from the perspective of a different white townsperson. These are boys, girls, men and women; either liberal or conservative, bigoted or sympathetic - yet all of whom are grappling with this spontaneous, collective rejection of subordination. A lost masterpiece republished for 2018, A Different Drummer is for readers who have been waiting for the next rediscovered classic.
  • AZSHU
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    "A masterpiece...[Douglass] was not only self-educated, with a love of language which should still be an inspiration; he was also self-created." [New York Times]. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland in 1818. After his escape in 1838 he became an ardent abolitionist, and his autobiography was an instant bestseller upon publication in 1845. In it he describes with harrowing honesty his life as a slave - the cruelty he suffered at the hands of plantation owners; his struggles to educate himself in a world where slaves are deliberately kept ignorant; and ultimately, his fight for his right to freedom. A passionately written, intelligent and highly emotive indictment of slavery, his principle preoccupation was that slavery could be eradicated only through education. This text was key in helping to secure its eventual abolition.