The American Slave Coast

A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry
Narrated by: Robin Eller
Length: 30 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.5 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The American Slave Coast tells the horrific story of how the slavery business in the United States made the reproductive labor of "breeding women" essential to the expansion of the nation. The book shows how slaves' children, and their children's children, were human savings accounts that were the basis of money and credit. This was so deeply embedded in the economy of the slave states that it could be decommissioned only by emancipation, achieved through the bloodiest war in the history of the United States.

The American Slave Coast is an alternative history of the United States that presents the slavery business, as well as familiar historical figures and events, in a revealing new light.

©2016 Ned Sublette and Constance Sublette (P)2016 Tantor

What listeners say about The American Slave Coast

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Important; Thoroughly Researched, Terrible Reader

I have both the paperback and the audible version of this insightful and enlightening story of how slavery is integral to the history of the United States. It's a detailed and engaging work that is well written, and extensively documented. But by all means get the book. As other reviewers have noted this reader has a flat and mechanical presentation. That's not so bad for a history book, in my opinion. However, the mangled and idiosyncratic pronunciation of some words is very distracting. Where is the audio editor for this audible edition? I note that some words that are mispronounced early are correctly pronounced later. So I think there is an editor involved in some places - perhaps one who dozes off from time to time because of the monotone performance. These problems are noted in other books that Robin Eller reads. It's a shame. A work this important deserves a first class narration. The sample reading on the web site does not include any of the bizarre pronunciations.

9 people found this helpful

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Get "The Half Has Never Been Told" instead!



Ned & Constance Sublette have put together a thoroughly researched and well-told account of the slavery economy. The primary focus is on the slave trade from the Atlantic Coast (Maryland/Virginia vs. South Carolina/Georgia) to the cotton lands opened up by the Louisiana Purchase and subsequent wars. It covers much of the same territory as Edward Baptist's "The Half Has Never Been Told," relying on many overlapping primary sources, and comes to similar conclusions as well. However, I found Baptist's prose is livelier and more engaging than the Sublette's, though the latter provide more complete social and historical context.

While this book is worth reading, I would advise you avoid the audio version. The narrator does an atrocious job; the reviewer who compared the narration to Siri is pretty much on the mark. Odd pauses within sentences, sometimes even within words; mispronunciations; and a complete lack of emotion do an utter disservice to this important material. By contrast, the narration of "The Half Has Never Been Told" is excellent.

15 people found this helpful

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Good book, painful narration

A very informative book and I learned quite a bit. The narrator has a sweet voice but is not good performer for an audio book. The main thing that bugged me and made listening painful was the relentless mis-pronuciations. These could, and should, have been corrected before the title was released. If that had occurred the narration would be 2-3 stars.

4 people found this helpful

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Great book, not so much with the narrator

narration has mistakes from the text version, they are minor in something soblong. still worth it. book is incredible. I would definitely recommend for any student of our American past.

3 people found this helpful

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Really should have hired a voice actor.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Appreciated the current references to the film, "12 Years A Slave", Michele Obama, Lupita Nyong'o and so on.

Would you be willing to try another one of Robin Eller’s performances?

Sorry no :(

Any additional comments?

This is a well written and researched book giving a unique perspective of our American heritage. The legacy of the common practices of those days are still all over out current legal system. A more engaging voice actor would have really helped this work.

3 people found this helpful

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Foundational reading for American history

This should be a foundational reading to begin to study American history. This book goes back in history to a time where we begin to understand how intrigal slavery was to the beginning of this country. It however is a story specifically about the Planter Class and the Slave class. The poor class of whites in this country is something that is left out of the discussion. This book also sheds light upon the desperate need for reparations of the African American citizens of this country. Another type of reparations this country owes to African American are the DNA restructuring of families. The horror stories of husbands, children and wives sold, raped and scattered throughout the land is so shameful that restoration is definetely needed.This foundation and the prison industrial complex is so closely tied to each other that it is bold in the face of the observer that something needs to be done in order to rectify the problem. This was an incredible book that needs to be surrounded by other incredible books to get a full picture of this nation.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent History of the USA

Made very comfortable listening since the writing is excellent, though the narration could have been more helpful. I recommend this book highly to anyone who wants a very balanced, thorough, and easy to read version of American history from an economic perspective that centers on the African slave as the currency that forms the basis of American capitalism.

2 people found this helpful

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Incredibly Eye Opening

While the narration is poor, the contents of this book clearly delineate a timeline for each country, territory, and state's involvement in the barbarism of the trade. Additionally, it demonstrates an alternative view to the founding fathers of this country. Eyes open wide!

5 people found this helpful

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Difficult topic, great narration

Hard to imagine a more difficult subject material. The narration was masterful and made the story come alive. How did the institution of slavery exist? Described by this writer as madness. The madness existed for centuries; it’s promoters made claims of the benefits and even necessity of slavery’s existence. It’s impossible, from our perspective to understand why slavery was ever on our soil. Slavery existed and survived. Regardless of who we are, slavery, with all its horrors, is our American heritage. I’m glad this book, though difficult to listen to, was written.

1 person found this helpful

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You JIVE WH_TE M_____F___E_S!!!!!

If this book doesn’t enrage you at a BASE LEVEL, you are DEAD inside. The brutality it chronicles is savage & relentless. And we STILL TRY TO PRETEND THE PAST AWAY. Robin Eller does a great job narrating. I don’t know HOW she did it. Every racial problem we have currently is an outgrowth of what the Sublette’s so courageously report here. Bravo to them!

3 people found this helpful