For more than three centuries, slave ships carried millions of people from the coasts of Africa across the Atlantic to the New World. Much is known of the slave trade and the American plantation complex, but little of the ships that made it all possible. In The Slave Ship, award-winning historian Marcus Rediker draws on 30 years of research in maritime archives to create an unprecedented history of these vessels and the human drama acted out on their rolling decks.
"So much misery"
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.