The riveting account of the slave ship rebellion told for the first time from the slaves’ perspective.
The slave ship Amistad set sail from Havana on July 2, 1839, on a routine delivery of human cargo. A few days into its voyage, the 53 African captives aboard would seize control and steer a new course - one that took them to freedom and ultimately into history.
Though the Amistad rebellion has been celebrated in films and books, its story has largely been told through the eyes of white abolitionists, with the Supreme Court victory by the Africans as the ultimate triumph. Now, Marcus Rediker’s captivating new history turns the lens on the Africans themselves. Using the story of their horrific plight back to the roots of their shared culture a continent away, he reframes the Amistad story as a crucial moment in the great chain of resistance stretching from the earliest slave revolts through the civil rights struggles of the 20th century.
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I would absolutely recommend this book. When I picked it up it was because I absolutely loved the movie. This book starts out telling the listener it is not a depiction of the movie, but it's better. The reader is drawn through the history of the event. You are shown how this one event was felt throughout the United States and the world. Your eyes are opened to what you knew, but forgot. One example was that the decision in favor of the African's of the Amistad was a landmark decision that would have been completely unexpected by the people of the time. We know it was a struggle, but through this narration we can feel it as well.
I don't think there is another book out there that I would compare to this book. It is an original work that brings a historical event to life for us.
My favorite is at the very end of the book. When the missionaries take the African's home and learn that the changes they see in the returning African's is not a rejection of what they learned, but that they could never really be expected to reject their own heritage.
That the writer of the "Star Spangled Banner" was pro-slavery and a prosecuting attorney. Somehow it seems that someone so completely pro-freedom should have understood the need to be free. The fact that he prosecuted individuals seeking that freedom and often sought the death penalty for these individuals was more than a little disappointing.
If history was presented this way to our children there would be less chance of them forgetting the lessons of the past.
Learned a lot but wished it was first person not third person narrator
- monica wolfson