Kathleen Hulser's Reviews > Slave Ship

Slave Ship by Marcus Rediker
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Feb 04, 09

Read in February, 2009

Full of intriguing detail of ship mechanics and voyage logistics, Rediker has crafted an extraordinary account of the technology that underpinned the trade in humans. His vignettes of first person experiences as merchant, Captain, Mate, trader, sailor and jailor are terrifying in their matter-of-fact acceptance of the daily horror. For instance, who knew that ships built up their rails, so as to hang nets to thwart suicidal captives from jumping overboard? Sometimes the profits were so enticing, sloops that could carry only 30 captives made the voyage. At times, it seems like the slave trade was a kind of gold rush, luring would-be capitalists over the moral line, as surely as they crossed the Tropic of Cancer.
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