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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

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  72 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Basing his study in Jamaica, Vincent Brown investigates what people thought about death in the world of Atlantic slavery. In his story of a world in flux he shows that death was as generative as it was destructive, and that the Grim Reaper became entwined in the social fabric of the island at the centre of the slave trade.
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Harvard University Press
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Mar 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
"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
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Royce Ratterman
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
An OK read for the researcher and enthusiast.
Read for personal research
- found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs.
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