The book takes place in the Atlantic Trading Triangle which was used to carry slaves and other goods across the Atlantic during the 1700 and 1808. Rediker uses first-hand accounts of the of the slaves that were passengers to illustrate their treatment and their experiences along the way. The book also discusses the responsibilities of the crew and how little the spaces were that the slaves had.
The slaves were bound with chains and kept on the lower deck of the ships. Rediker is able to depict vivid images of some of the events that had taken place on the slave ships. It’s hard to imagine the conditions the slaves were kept in throughout their transportation. It’s easy to pick up on Rediker’s central argument: The horrible acts committed against the slaves throughout the whole process is unjustified and unforgivable.
Beatings were more than common for not only the slaves but the crew members of the ships as well. Some captains of the slave ships had their crew members whipped, beaten and sometimes even murdered for not following orders. One of the ways the captains put fear into the slaves were public beatings. Rediker even discusses a murder in front of the other slaves where the body was dismembered. Death on the ships ha...
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...Rediker gives so much insight about the slaves and their journey across the Atlantic. I think it is important that people, scholars and students especially, understand what the world was really like in the past centuries. If we can learn from the past, hopefully we can have a better future.
I would recommend the book to every student studying history, highschool and college, and any history scholar. After reading it myself, I think any person doing anything history related should read this book to have a better understanding of what our world was once like. Personally, it’s not hard to believe that life was really like this book not long ago and after hearing the first-hand accounts of some of these slaves. I enjoyed the book because of the fact that I learned so much, the only reason I didn’t like it would be for the actions of the ‘white man’ against these slaves.
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