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The Life of Olaudah Equiano

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  202 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Compelling work traces the formidable journey of an Igbo prince from captivity to freedom and literacy and recounts his enslavement in the New World, service in the Seven Years War with General Wolfe in Canada, voyages to the Arctic with the Phipps expedition of 1772–73, six months among the Miskito Indians in Central America, and a grand tour of the Mediterranean as a per ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published January 26th 1999 by Dover Publications
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Kendall Liggett
“. . . I might say my sufferings were great; but when I compare my lot with that of most of my countrymen, I regard myself as a particular favorite of heaven. . .”
-Equiano

Olaudah Equiano, born in 1745 in Essaka, an African Village, was kidnapped at the age of eleven by slave traders and placed on a ship heading towards Barbados. In his narrative, “The Life of Olaudah Equiano,” he describes what he saw while on the ship during his voyage and what he thought was going to happen to him. First, he
...more
Juju
The author has a charming writing style. The thing that disturbed me about this book, however, was that the author didn't seem to be arguing for the abolition of slavery at all. Numerous times in the book, following a description of some of the cruelties imposed on the slaves, the author takes the opportunity to share with the reader his insight that a well-treated slave is a happy slave, and therefore a hard-working slave.

Instead of the abolition of slavery, what the author seems to be aiming f
...more
Marie
Olaudah Equiano's autobiography is historically significant for the brief glimpses it gives us of Africa in the 1700's, and other fascinating historical notes. (At one point he is cast overboard by a wave, and can't swim, but "my jacket kept me afloat long enough for another to rescue me." Made me wonder if it could have been a primative life-vest, or just air trapped under his shirt.)

I picked this up after reading passages quoted from it in "A History of African American Music" - alas, he does
...more
Faye
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Freshley
Olaudah Equiano, an Igbo prince who was taken into slavery from his small Nigerian village at age 11, lived an amazing life! After he survived the horrendous middle passage, Equiano was fortunate to have been educated by his first master. He then spent most of the rest of his life serving on various ships under diverse masters at sea. Through trade in the Caribbean islands, he was able to acquire enough money to purchase his freedom, but the captains he served under didn't always respect this st ...more
Carlos Burga
This is another book that although I would normally not have picked up, I read for a class and liked it. What I enjoyed of the book is how vividly it paints the picture of the life that Equiano lived, with all its horrors and good fortunes. Although most readers have encountered at one point or another the genre of the slave narrative, it is worthwhile to point out that Equiano is one of the first authors in this category. Although the book had a political argument that is made explicit at the e ...more
Julesmarie
The author has a charming writing style. The thing that disturbed me about this book, however, was that the author didn't seem to be arguing for the abolition of slavery at all. Numerous times in the book, following a description of some of the cruelties imposed on the slaves, the author takes the opportunity to share with the reader his insight that a well-treated slave is a happy slave, and therefore a hard-working slave.

Instead of the abolition of slavery, what the author seems to be aiming f
...more
Richard Anderson
An historical monument.
Russell
While Equiano is no professional writer, he sure has a captivating life story and fascinating tales. I really enjoyed reading and learning about his rich history. Very interesting information regarding his tribe in Guinea and cultural similarities with the Jews--even down to specific rituals. He's quite vocal about his conversion to Christianity and his very sincere and honest approach to finding Christ. It's a short read, uplifting and enlightening.
Jill
The transition of Olaudah Equiano from innocent little African boy to full blown Imperialist/Capitalist Wannabe Englishman is sad...but to have an impact on the abolitionist movement, one must consider your audience...Imperialist/Capitalist Englishmen.
okay fine i get it.
Joelle
This is usually considered the first popular slave narrative. However, Equiano writes more of a travel book--not only about the middle passage, but also about his own travels on various ships.
Olivia
This was a good book...I would have liked more detail and it may have had it before the censors got to it. But overall it was a great read!
Jessica
This is a good book - an account of the life of a slave - but it's not my thing, and subsequently I didn't find it very interesting.
Matt Beal
rather enjoyable. Worried it may be lost on me but it was a very interesting journey.
Damola Nadi
Great read. One of those books I will always go back to and read again.
Teresa
The horrors of slavery balanced off with the kindness of individuals!
Kayla
It was interesting but too drawn out and overwritten.
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect number of pages 2 158 Oct 24, 2013 06:03PM  
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Also known as Gustavus Vassa, Olaudah Equiano was one of the most prominent Africans involved in the British movement of the abolition for the slave trade. Although enslaved as a young man, he purchased his freedom and worked as an author, merchant, and explorer in South America, the Caribbean, the Arctic, the American colonies, and the United Kingdom.
More about Olaudah Equiano...
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano: Written by Himself The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano Sold as a Slave (Penguin Great Journeys) Equiano's Travels: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African

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