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Extended Audio Sample The Slave Ship: A Human History Audiobook, by Marcus Rediker Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (338 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marcus Rediker Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9781400174799
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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 thirty years of research in maritime archives to create an unprecedented history of these vessels and the human drama acted out on their rolling decks. He reconstructs in chilling detail the lives, deaths, and terrors of captains, sailors, and the enslaved aboard a "floating dungeon" trailed by sharks. From the young African kidnapped from his village and sold to the slavers by a neighboring tribe, to the would-be priest who takes a job as a sailor on a slave ship only to be horrified by the evil he sees, to the captain who relishes having "a hell of my own," Rediker illuminates the lives of people who were thought to have left no trace. This is a tale of tragedy and terror, but also an epic of resilience, survival, and the creation of something entirely new, something that could only be called African American. Rediker restores the slave ship to its rightful place alongside the plantation as a formative institution of slavery, as a place where a profound and still haunting history of race, class, and modern capitalism was made. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Masterly…Rediker has made magnificent use of archival data; his probing, compassionate eye turns up numerous finds that other people who’ve written on this subject…have missed.”

    New York Times

  • Imaginatively conceived, expertly researched, humanely informed, and movingly written. Library Journal Starred Review
  • “Searingly brilliant”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Groundbreaking…Remarkably attentive to the experiences of the enslaved women…and of the common seaman…Rediker does not lose sight of the humanity of even the most egregious participants.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Carefully and intelligently read by David Drummond…His succinct enunciation, warm tone, and precise yet subtly compassionate interpretation enhances Rediker’s…exemplary book. Strongly recommended.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Narrator David Drummond pronounces the African names, places, and tribes with ease, and his precise speech enunciates every word.”

    AudioFile

  • “Rediker’s dramatic presentation powerfully impresses.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 1/24/2014

    " One of the most depressing books I've ever read about one of the most shameful periods in American history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chad | 11/27/2013

    " This book is hard to get through. Incredibly depressing but worth the effort. Enlightening that the slave trade played a huge part in the development of modern global capitalism. I shouldn't be surprised, it's still a part of day to day capitalism for 90% of the world. OK maybe 85%. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shaun | 11/21/2013

    " Somehow Rediker manages to tease a few beautiful moments of inspiration out of this otherwise haunting work of historical terror - and when he does, I get goosebumps. Of particular interest was the late chapter on the history of the use of the diagram of the Brooks slave ship in various incarnations of abolitionist propaganda. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily Sours | 11/7/2013

    " enlightening and depressing, this book is worth the read. not just about the actual ships, but the sailors, the slaves, their routes, and nearly anything else dealing with the ship you can think of. READ IT. NOW. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 N | 10/29/2013

    " This is, in many ways, a lighter version of Davis' book. Rediker uses narratives written by captains, sailors, and the enslaved to create a complete picture of life on a slave ship. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicko | 8/31/2013

    " A terror-filled floating hell on Earth. Well-researched and brings the horror of this human institution to life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg B | 12/2/2012

    " Really an incredible account of the trasatlantic slave trade. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas DeWolf | 12/1/2012

    " Incredible book that shifts historical categories of "slave," "slave ship captain", "slave ship crew," and so on into the real people they were. This is truly a HUMAN history and will change the perception of people who read this remarkable narrative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 9/25/2012

    " Best book I've read, so far, on this subject. Well-researched, excellent and plentiful citations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alana | 8/29/2012

    " In the beginning the author states that this book was painful to write, and if he did a good job it will be painful to read. He was correct. It was very painful to read, but eye-opening and important. Take what you think you know about the slave trade, throw it out the window and read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Moll132 | 4/1/2012

    " HIST 277: European Empires "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jess | 10/9/2011

    " A few interesting topics were briefly described that I would have liked to see elaborated on. However, the book was well written and very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Preston Palmer | 5/31/2011

    " Because of the subject matter, it can be very difficult to read without taking a break once and a while, otherwise, a very good book, very informative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 11/26/2010

    " Thoroughly researched and well organized using original sources throughout. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas | 5/4/2009

    " Incredible book that shifts historical categories of "slave," "slave ship captain", "slave ship crew," and so on into the real people they were. This is truly a HUMAN history and will change the perception of people who read this remarkable narrative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicko | 4/4/2009

    " A terror-filled floating hell on Earth. Well-researched and brings the horror of this human institution to life. "

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About the Author
Author Marcus Rediker

Marcus Rediker is a professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Slave Ship: A Human History, winner of the George Washington Book Prize and the Merle Curti Award, and The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic.

About the Narrator

David Drummond has made his living as an actor for over twenty-five years, appearing on stages large and small throughout the country and in Seattle, Washington, his hometown. He has narrated over thirty audiobooks, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, fantasy, military, thrillers, and humor. He received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, Love ’Em or Lose ’Em: Getting Good People to Stay. When not narrating, he keeps busy writing plays and stories for children.