The Amistad Rebellion by Marcus Rediker
An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom

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A unique account of the most successful slave rebellion in American history, now updated with a new epilogue—from the award-winning author of The Slave Ship

In this powerful and highly original account, Marcus Rediker reclaims the Amistad rebellion for its true proponents: the enslaved Africans who risked death to stake a claim for freedom. Using newly discovered evidence and featuring vividly drawn portraits of the rebels, their captors, and their abolitionist allies, Rediker reframes the story to show how a small group of courageous men fought and won an epic battle against Spanish and American slaveholders and their governments. The successful Amistad rebellion changed the very nature of the struggle against slavery. As a handful of self-emancipated Africans steered their own course for freedom, they opened a way for millions to follow.

This edition includes a new epilogue about the author's trip to Sierra Leona to search for Lomboko, the slave-trading factory where the Amistad Africans were incarcerated, and other relics and connections to the Amistad rebellion, especially living local memory of the uprising and the people who made it.


About Marcus Rediker

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MARCUS REDIKER is a professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Slave Ship: A Human History, winner of the George Washington Book Prize and the Merle Curti Award, and (with Peter Linebaugh) The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailor, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic.
Published November 8, 2012 by Penguin Books. 299 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In The Slave Ship (2007), Rediker (History/Univ.

Oct 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atl...

Publishers Weekly

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Historian Rediker (The Slave Ship) focuses on the individual captives in this ambitious retelling of the famous 1839 Amistad uprising.

Aug 13 2012 | Read Full Review of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atl...


“Curiously,” writes Rediker, “the American legal system has emerged as the story’s hero—the very system which, in 1839, held 2½ million African Americans in bondage.” Contemporary public fascination with the slaves provides the historian with a rich trove of information to draw upon.

Jan 04 2013 | Read Full Review of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atl...

Post and Courier

And although the U.S. court cases that followed in the wake of the Amistad rebellion hinged on the fraudulence of the vessel’s records — that claimed their “human cargo” were longtime slaves, rather than illegally kidnapped West Africans, everyone recognized that the case posed a far more fundame...

Nov 18 2012 | Read Full Review of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atl...

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