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The Reaper's Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery
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The Reaper's Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  5 reviews
What did people make of death in the world of Atlantic slavery? In "The Reaper's Garden," Vincent Brown asks this question about Jamaica, the staggeringly profitable hub of the British Empire in America--and a human catastrophe. Popularly known as the grave of the Europeans, it was just as deadly for Africans and their descendants. Yet among the survivors, the dead remaine ...more
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Harvard University Press
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The politics of power and control negotiated through death, to me is the main theme of the book. For enslaved Africans death might have disrupted their social lives but it also provided the avenue through which new customs or even old customs could be adapted to suit the prevailing circumstances. Brown's emphasis on the fact that death in colonial Jamaica was not an equalizer but yet another opportunity to prove their superiority was quite interesting. I like the effective use of primary sources ...more
Wendy G
"The Reaper's Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery" looks at funerary practices, inheritance, ritual execution, iconography around the dead, and cultural ideas about the role of the dead in the lives and politics of the living in eighteenth century Jamaica. Because I've studied American history and the history of slavery, there was very little that was new to me in this text. However, I think it's a very valuable study of how death figures into the lives of the enslaved and t ...more
Allan Branstiter
If ever there was a compelling case to be made for new histories that include the dominant, Vincent Brown persuasively makes it on pages 258-260:

"If people looked to the past to find the roots of contemporary forms of inequality, domination, and terror, rather than the origins of freedom, rights, and universal prosperity, they might see early colonial Jamaica as home to the people who made the New World what it became... And perhaps this image embodies a useful parable top, for stories of politi
Joe Kaliher
One of the view history books that has kept me enthralled the entire way through. It gives a detailed look into the brutal lives of slaves on their journey. It shows how their oppression caused them to form brotherhood, which allowed them to revolt against the system of slavery and obtain their freedom. A MUST READ for any history lover.
Beautifully written account of slavery in Jamaica.I'm certain it will shape future approaches to the study of slavery as it relates to death, power, spirituality, terror and violence. MUST READ
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