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The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Robert Harms
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Kurzbeschreibung

November 2001
Based on an officer's diary, a vivid and unprecedented account of the voyage of one slave trading ship-The Diligent-and the worlds through which it sailed. . The slave trade is one of the best known yet least understood processes in our history. The popular image of traders in slave ships going to Africa and rounding up slaves as if they were cattle is not only historically inaccurate, it also disguises the fact that the slave trade was a highly organized Atlantic-wide system that required close collaboration at the highest levels of government in Europe, Africa, and the New World. Using the private journal of First Lieutenant Robert Durand, and supplementing it with a wealth of archival research, Yale historian Robert Harms re-creates in astonishing detail the voyage of the French slave ship The Diligent. We have histories of the slave trade, most recently Hugh Thomas's massive and authoritative The Slave Trade, but The Diligent is something entirely different: a deep bore into the economic, political, and moral worldviews of the participants on all sides of the trade, complete with a vivid dramatis personae. Nobody who reads this book will ever look at the slave trade in the same way again.

Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 466 Seiten
  • Verlag: Basic Books; Auflage: 1 (November 2001)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0465028713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465028719
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24,4 x 17 x 4,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 761.003 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

From the 16th to the 19th century, more than 40,000 slave ships plied the waters of the Atlantic, bringing human cargo to the Americas. Drawing on a memoir by a lieutenant, historian Robert Harms tells the story of one such ship, a story that, although shocking to modern readers, "was distressingly ordinary in its own time and place."

Designed to transport grain over short distances, the Diligent was perhaps not the most seaworthy of vessels. Still, by ship's officer Robert Durand's account, it transported nearly 300 victims at a time from the African coast to the French colony of Martinique, often at a terrible cost in life because of disease, malnutrition, and harsh shipboard discipline. Harms carefully reconstructs episodes in the ship's life, including the curious trial that ended its 1731 ocean crossing. More than that, he untangles the complex business of the slave trade, which was far from monolithic, depending instead on ever-shifting alliances and private agendas in the race for profit.

As Harms notes, though more than 17,000 ships' logs from the slaving voyages of the 18th century have been recovered, only a few shed light on daily life aboard those vessels. His troubling narrative does just that, and it gives new evidence of the ordinariness of evil. --Gregory McNamee

Synopsis

Based on an officer's diary, a vivid and unprecedented account of the voyage of one slave trading ship-The Diligent-and the worlds through which it sailed. . The slave trade is one of the best known yet least understood processes in our history. The popular image of traders in slave ships going to Africa and rounding up slaves as if they were cattle is not only historically inaccurate, it also disguises the fact that the slave trade was a highly organized Atlantic-wide system that required close collaboration at the highest levels of government in Europe, Africa, and the New World. Using the private journal of First Lieutenant Robert Durand, and supplementing it with a wealth of archival research, Yale historian Robert Harms re-creates in astonishing detail the voyage of the French slave ship The Diligent. We have histories of the slave trade, most recently Hugh Thomas's massive and authoritative The Slave Trade, but The Diligent is something entirely different: a deep bore into the economic, political, and moral worldviews of the participants on all sides of the trade, complete with a vivid dramatis personae.

Nobody who reads this book will ever look at the slave trade in the same way again.


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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Lesenswert 7. Juni 2005
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
Hervorragendes Buch, das anhand der Aufzeichnungen eines Offiziers an Bord eines französischen Sklavenschiffs dessen Reise nachvollzieht. Dabei handelt es sich im engeren Sinne nicht um eine Geschichte des Sklavenhandels; anhand des Weges des Schiffes werden die historischen Umstände vermittelt, die für den jeweiligen Ort und die Zeit relevant sind. Man erfährt also am Anfang etwas über die ökonomische Situation in Frankreich, dann über die Ausrüstung eines Sklavenschiffes, die Herrschaftsverhältnisse an der Sklavenküste etc. bis zum Zuckeranbau in der Karibik.
Gut erzählt, informativ, reich illustriert und mit Literaturnachweis; an einigen Stellen könnte das Buch etwas bessere Karten vertragen.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  12 Rezensionen
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen An exciting and informative voyage through history 27. Juli 2003
Von events3 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
The Individual who has read AFRICA AND AFRICANS IN THE MAKING OF THE ATLANTIC WORLD, 1400-1800 by John Thornton & THE SLAVE TRADE: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440-1870 by Hugh Thomas will likely find THE DILIGENT: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade to be a welcome addition to their reading material while the individual for whom this is a introduction to the subject will likely find the work both stimulating and informative.
Nominally, THE DILIGENT is a history of the 1731 -32 journey of the slave ship THE DILIGENT from the Ile aux Moines near the port of Vannes, in Brittany, France to the Guinea Coast, then to Martinique and back to Vannes. It is, however, much more than that. The reader is treated to a rather informative economic and social history (especially as it relates to the slave trade) of France at the beginning of the 18th century, including the "reforms" of John Law. It is also a brief history of the involvement of the European powers with the native peoples of the Gold Coast, a much more detailed history of Whydah and Dahomey (for the slightly gory origin of the name see Harold Courlander's A TREASURY OF AFRICAN FOLKLORE) and the effects of the slave traders on those States, a brief history of the status and struggles of free blacks under mulatto control in Principe and Sao Tome (focusing on the life of the black Archdeacon Pinto during this period), a study of daily life for both crew and human cargo on a slave ship - especially during the arduous Middle Passage, and a brief look at the struggles and dangers facing slaves and, to a lesser degree, coca and coffee growers in Martinique. The work finishes off by examining the questionable benefits of the various parties (including the financiers, suppliers and the officers of the ship) from the slaving voyage.
This is an excellent work (aside from a couple editing errors which aren't worth mentioning but, going by reviews written elsewhere, may be greatly exaggerated by some future detractor of the work) and should be read by any serious student of slave trade.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Difficult Reading based on Meticulous Research! 4. August 2004
Von Historical Writer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Finally, I completed this almost 500 pg. nonfiction book written by a Yale professor and historian about the journey of a French slave ship to Africa to Martinique and back to France. I found the first 200 pages excrutiating due to the details of the history of France and Europe as well as the geneology of individuals involved in outfitting the slave ship for its voyage to Africa for its human cargo. (I think it would have made this book far easier for readers if some of the background history had been paraphrased. Sometimes Mr. Harms was telling exactly who was doing what at a certain time complete with a weather report!) I found it fascinating, at last, when around page 200+, we arrived in Africa and learned the details of what the French, Portuguese, English, and Dutch did to barter for slaves from the African Kings who were given European goods (guns, gunpowder, beads, alcohol, etc.) as well as ten percent of the human cargo. Sometimes the Europeans induced the African to declare war on each other with tens of thousands fighting--because in the end prisoners of war were sold by the tribes to the Europeans. It usually took months of manipulations and squabbles and wars before deals were settled. Most captains of slave ships did not keep detailed logs other than the number of slaves purchased and how many died during the Middle Passage (the leg of the journey from Africa to the Americas). Each country involved in the slave trade had laws to obey, and each ship was run differently according to the captains and crews. First Lieutenant Robert Durand of the Diligent, however, took more detailed notes, so we know what it was like on a 1731 French slave ship. I recommend this book for everyone studying history of the 1700's, especially the slave trade, though the author included a lot of very dry superfluous details! I suggest you skip over the stuff that doesn't interest you, and read the stuff that does. After the Diligent arrives in Martinique, the author gives detailed information about sugar processing of the 1700's that would be difficult to find elsewhere. For good photos and more information about the slave trade to the Americas, go to the Middlepassagemuseum.org. I also recommend novels by K.J. McWilliams: The Journal of Darien Dexter Duff, The Diary of a Slave Girl, Ruby Jo, and The Journal of Leroy Jeremiah Jones as well as slave narratives written by slaves such as Frederick Douglass, Ellen & William Craft, etc.
9 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen ambitiously planned and executed 17. August 2002
Von Karen Sampson Hudson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Robert Harms took on a wide-ranging, difficult task in writing "The Diligent, A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade". He writes in great detail of the journey of the French ship on its only slave trading voyage from the coast of Brittany to Martinique in the New World. Relying of the shipboard journals of Robert Durand, a young First Lieutenant, Harms gives us an account of the political, economic, and social worlds of the European empires, of the African societies, and the new plantations of the Americas. We read brutal accounts of pirate ships, of crew mutinies, of slave uprisings aboard ships.
Profit was the motive, of course, and when the Diligent returned home to Vannes, a smallish French city with a rising merchant class, the ship owners, the Billy brothers, sued the captain, Pierre Mary, for cheating them on the profits of the voyage. Bad luck, weather, illness, and mismanagement no doubt all played a role in the low profits of the first voyage. The Diligent never made another slave-run into the West Indies.
Written in fairly dry, fairly academic prose, this book will not be a best-seller, but you will find it profitable reading of those harsh times and places not so distantly removed from our own.
5 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Superb Book 20. Januar 2002
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is the best book on the slave trade I have read. Based on an account written by a French mariner, it traces one ship's sailing from France, to Africa, to the French colonies in America and then back to France.
It places the slave trade in an economic perspepctive while showing the evils of this barbaric trade. The section on the Middle Passage is especially noteworthy.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Kindle Edition badly produced (font is hard to read) 17. August 2011
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This is certainly a worthwhile read, however, the Kindle edition is flawed due to a hard-to-read, seemingly damaged font. The printed letters seem to be missing bits and pieces. While the words are identifiable, the reading experience is much more strenuous than it should be.

This is really just a technical problem, and Amazon/the publisher should really fix it.
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