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“The most dramatic account so far of the extraordinary expeience of slaves in and after the American Revolution. . . . Schama’s gift for plunging us into the very center of the action makes reading an exhilarating and often moving experience.”—Daily Telegraph
If you were black in America at the start of the Revolutionary War, whom would you want to win? In response to a declaration by the last governor of Virginia that any rebel-owned slave who escaped and served the King would be emancpated, tens of thousands of blacks voted with feet, escaping to fight beside the British. Originally designed to break the plantations of the American South, this military strategy instead unleashed one of the great exoduses in American history.
Told in the voices of the slaves and the white abolitionists who aided them, Simon Schama vividly details the odyssey of these escaped blacks, shedding light on an extraordinary chapter in America’s birth.
If you were black in America at the start of the Revolutionary War, which side would you want to win?
When the last British governor of Virginia declared that any rebel-owned slave who escaped and served the king would be emancipated, tens of thousands of slaves fled from farms, plantations, and cities to try to reach the British camp. A military strategy originally designed to break the plantations of the American South had unleashed one of the great exoduses in U.S. history. With powerfully vivid storytelling, Schama details the odyssey of the escaped blacks through the fires of war and the terror of potential recapture, shedding light on an extraordinary, little-known chapter in the dark saga of American slavery.
“A master storyteller.” “If there’s a better living writer of history than Simon Schama, I’d sure like to know who it is.” “. . .plenty of gorgeous writing from this most elegant of stylists.” “Schama tells this complex story through a series of richly drawn, idiosyncratic individuals, from musical bureaucrats to rebellious slaves.” Simon Schama’s Rough Crossings . . . brilliantly re-creates the histories of runaway slaves in and after the American revolution. “A lively and accessible book.” ” Schama is back at his best -and historians don’t come much better than that.
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