Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution

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9780060539160: Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution

Rough Crossings is the astonishing story of the struggle to freedom by thousands of African-American slaves who fled the plantations to fight behind British lines in the American War of Independence. With gripping, powerfully vivid story-telling, Simon Schama follows the escaped blacks into the fires of the war, and into freezing, inhospitable Nova Scotia where many who had served the Crown were betrayed in their promises to receive land at the war's end. Their fate became entwined with British abolitionists: inspirational figures such as Granville Sharp, the flute-playing father-figure of slave freedom, and John Clarkson, the 'Moses' of this great exodus, who accompanied the blacks on their final rough crossing to Africa, where they hoped that freedom would finally greet them.

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About the Author:

Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University in New York. His books have been translated into 15 languages and give an idea of his range: Citizens: a Chronicle of the French Revolution, Landscape and Memory, Rembrandt's Eyes, A History of Britain, The Power of Art,The American Future: A History and, most recently, Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writings on Politics, Churchill and My Mother. His art columns for the New Yorker won the national magazine Award for criticsim and journalism and his journalism has appeared regularly in the Guardian and Financial Times where he is Contributing Editor. He has written and presented forty films for BBC2 on subjects as diverse as Tolstoy, American politics and John Donne and won an Emmy for The Power of Art. Simon Schama was awarded a CBE in 2001.

From AudioFile:

Twenty percent of the two-and-a-half million colonists in America in 1776 were slaves and, therefore, not among the "all men created equal" by the Declaration of Independence. England offered freedom to those who would betray their owners and fight for King George. Many did. This book chronicles their astounding adventures. It also tells of the post-war attempts by English philanthropists to settle these unlikely Tories in Nova Scotia and then in Africa. Professor, critic, novelist, and historian Schama has also narrated award-winning TV shows for the BBC and American public television. Broadcasting has given his voice an astounding range and great force. The language that has made his books bestsellers is incandescent here. B.H.C. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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