The Diligent

The Diligent

Robert Harms

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The groundbreaking history of the Atlantic slave trade, winner of the Mark Lynton History Prize, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and the J. Russell Major Prize.

In The Diligent, acclaimed historian Robert Harms reveals the complex workings of the slave trade by drawing on the private journal of First Lieutenant Robert Durand to recreate the macabre journey of a French slave ship.

The Diligent began her journey in Brittany in 1731, and Harms follows her along the African coast where her goods were traded for slaves, then to Martinique where her captives were sold to work on sugar plantations. He brings to life a world in which slavery was carried out without qualms: the gruesome details of daily life aboard a slave ship, French merchants wrangling for the right to traffic in slaves, African kings waging epic wars for control of slave trading posts, and representatives of European governments negotiating the complicated politics of the Guinea coast to ensure a steady supply of labor for their countries' colonies.

By combining the detailed story of an expedition with an exploration of the significant personalities and events that were shaping Europe, West Africa, and the Caribbean in the early eighteenth century, The Diligent provides an intimate understanding of a horrifying world.

Product details

ISBN-13: 9780465028726x

Number of pages: 496

Format: Paperback / softback

Imprint: Basic Books

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