The Slave Ship (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
The Slave Ship: A Human History is a historical study of the incredible human suffering and terror experienced by slaves who were transported from West Africa to the New World on British slave ships between 1700 and 1807, the year that the British parliament approved the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Marcus Rediker, a professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, undertook extensive archival research in British libraries and record offices, and he based this thorough study on original documents and on important but little-known eighteenth century books on the slave trade. The solidity of his research and his fifty-two pages of footnotes demonstrate clearly his scholarly expertise in this human tragedy that caused so much avoidable suffering in Africa, on numerous Caribbean islands, and in the United States. He wisely decided to limit his investigation to the British involvement in the slave trade over just one century. His choice of the eighteenth century also makes sense because it has been estimated that almost half of the total slaves transported from Africa to the New World endured this trip in the bottom of slave ships during that century. Had Rediker also chosen to examine participation in the slave trade by France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, this book would have been three or four times longer.
Rediker explains clearly that England relied greatly on the slave trade for its immense wealth and political...
(The entire section is 1635 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
Booklist 104, no. 2 (September 15, 2007): 9-10.
Kirkus Reviews 75, no. 15 (August 1, 2007): 776-777.
Library Journal 132, no. 15 (September 15, 2007): 72.
The New York Times Book Review 157 (October 21, 2007): 15.
Publishers Weekly 254, no. 30 (July 30, 2007): 67.
The Wall Street Journal 250, no. 86 (October 11, 2007): D8.
(The entire section is 31 words.)