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Download Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution, by Simon Schama
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (346 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Simon Schama Narrator: Simon Schama Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Rough Crossings turns on a single huge question: if you were black in America at the start of the Revolutionary War, who would you want to win?

Tens of thousands gave their answer, voting with their feet for Britain and King George. In response to a declaration by the last governor of Virginia that any rebel-owned slave who escaped and served the King would be emancipated, tens of thousands of slaves, Americans who clung to the sentimental notion of British freedom, escaped from farms, plantations, and cities to try to reach the British camp. This mass movement lasted as long as the war did, and a military strategy originally designed to break the plantations of the American South had unleashed one of the great exoduses in American history.

With powerfully vivid storytelling, often in the voices of the slaves themselves and the white abolitionists who became their emancipators and protectors, Schama details the odyssey of the escaped blacks through the fires of war and the terror of potential recapture at the war's end, into inhospitable Nova Scotia, where thousands who had served the Crown were betrayed and, in a little-known hegira of the slave epic, sent across the broad, stormy ocean to Sierra Leone.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Elizabeth O'Callahan | 2/20/2014

    " Interesting, and kind of a sad wake-up call. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Elaine | 2/9/2014

    " Fascinating, though often disturbing, story about an aspect of history I knew nothing about: the thousands of American slaves who escaped from plantations to fight with the British against American rebels during the Revolution. The slaves were promised "British freedom," but the realities of their treatment by the British after the war ended fell far short of the promises. Focusing on individuals---the good, the evil, the sincere, the ambivalent, the self-serving, the incompetent, the courageous---Schama gives the story immediacy and brings it to life. His narration of the audiobook is entrancing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Teresa | 2/9/2014

    " I recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of slavery and African Americans in the United States. This book is a delightful read that explores areas of the topic of slavery that has never really been touched upon in school history on either side of the Atlantic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Melanie | 1/23/2014

    " This was so interesting - it's a history of the abolition of slavery in Britain, but it also covers escaped slaves from the Revolutionary War who the British promised freedom to, and the creation of Freetown in Sierra Leone. It was a detailed, fact-filled book but read like a novel. "

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About the Author
Author Simon Schama

Simon Schama is a professor of art history and history at Columbia University and is the author of numerous award-winning books; his history Rough Crossings won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. He has been a cultural essayist for the New Yorker and has written and presented more than thirty documentaries for the BBC, PBS, and the History Channel, including The Power of Art, which won the 2007 International Emmy for Best Arts Programming.