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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

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The Trader, the Owner, the Slave: Parallel Lives in the Age of Slavery

by James Walvin - £12.99  Vintage (2006)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780712667630 | ISBN 10: 0712667636

There has been nothing like Atlantic slavery. Its scope and the ways in which it has shaped the modern world are so far-reaching as to make it ungraspable. By examining the lives of three individuals caught up in the enterprise of human enslavement - a trader, an owner and a slave - James Walvin offers a new and an original interpretation of the barbaric world of slavery and of its historic end in April 1807.
 
John Newton (1725-1807), best known as the author of Amazing Grace, was a slave captain who marshalled his human cargoes with a brutality that he looked back on with shame and contrition. Thomas Thistlewood (1721-86) lived his life in a remote corner of western Jamaica and his unique diary provides some of the most revealing images of a slave owner's life in the most valuable of all British slave colonies. Olaudah Equiano (1745-97) was practically unknown thirty years ago, but is now an iconic figure in black history and his experience as a slave speaks out for lives of millions who went unrecorded.
 
All three men were contemporaries; they even came close to each other at different points of the Atlantic compass.
 
But what held them together, in its destructive gravitational pull, was the Atlantic slave system.

(Price & availability last checked: August 2018)

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In booklists: Slavery & the Slave Trade,
In categories: History & Biography, Anti-Racism, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas,

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