Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man

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9780820325712: Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man
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This definitive biography tells the story of the former slave Olaudah Equiano (1745?-97), who in his day was the English-speaking world’s most renowned person of African descent. Equiano’s greatest legacy is his classic 1789 autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. A key document of the early movement to ban the slave trade, it includes the earliest known firsthand description by a slave of the horrific Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. Equiano, the African is filled with fresh revelations about this many-sided figure―most notably that Equiano may have been born not in Africa, as he claimed, but in South Carolina.

For Vincent Carretta, such disconnects between the public persona and actual life of Equiano only increase his importance as a window into a number of complex, overlapping worlds. Equiano was a sailor, adventurer, entrepreneur, and jack-of-all-trades. Carretta distills years of scholarly detective work on Equiano’s life and writings into a richly textured portrait of the man whose many transformations took him from slave to slave trader to anti-slave-trade advocate, and from pagan to Christian.

This is “life and times” history at its best. Throughout, Carretta relates The Interesting Narrative to the historical record on Equiano, as well as to the century’s economic, political, and religious undercurrents. Carretta argues that Equiano may have fabricated his African roots and his survival of the Middle Passage not only to sell more copies of his book but also to help advance the movement against the slave trade. Equiano, the African will leave readers with a fuller appreciation of the man’s achievements and a deeper understanding of race and slavery in the Atlantic world.

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From the Publisher:

"Top 10" and "Best of" listings include:
Booklist's "Top 10 African American Nonfiction"
Amazon.com's "Top 10 Editors' Picks: Biographies"
ForeWord magazine's "10 Exceptional Books from University Presses"
American Library Association's "Best of the Best of the University Presses: Books You Should Know About"

About the Author:

Vincent Carretta, professor of English at the University of Maryland, is currently a senior fellow at Harvard UniversityÂ’s W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. His books include scholarly editions of the works of Equiano and of EquianoÂ’s contemporaries Ignatius Sancho, Ottobah Cugoano, and Phillis Wheatley.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780143038429: Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man

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ISBN 10:  0143038427 ISBN 13:  9780143038429
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2007
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Book Description University of Georgia Press, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. An epic of slavery, freedom, and the will to succeed. This definitive biography tells the story of the former slave Olaudah Equiano (1745?-97), who in his day was the English-speaking world's most renowned person of African descent. Equiano's greatest legacy is his classic 1789 autobiography, "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African." A key document of the early movement to ban the slave trade, it includes the earliest known firsthand description by a slave of the horrific Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. "Equiano, the African" is filled with fresh revelations about this many-sided figure - most notably that Equiano may have been born not in Africa, as he claimed, but in South Carolina. For Vincent Carretta, such disconnects between the public persona and actual life of Equiano only increase his importance as a window into a number of complex, overlapping worlds. Equiano was a sailor, adventurer, entrepreneur, and jack-of-all-trades. Carretta distills years of scholarly detective work on Equiano's life and writings into a richly textured portrait of the man whose many transformations took him from slave to slave trader to anti-slave-trade advocate, and from pagan to Christian. This is "life and times" history at its best. Throughout, Carretta relates The Interesting Narrative to the historical record on Equiano, as well as to the century's economic, political, and religious undercurrents. Carretta argues that Equiano may have fabricated his African roots and his survival of the Middle Passage not only to sell more copies of his book but also to help advance the movement against the slave trade. Equiano, the African will leave readers with a fuller appreciation of the man's achievements and a deeper understanding of race and slavery in the Atlantic world. Seller Inventory # AAC9780820325712

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Book Description University of Georgia Press, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. An epic of slavery, freedom, and the will to succeed. This definitive biography tells the story of the former slave Olaudah Equiano (1745?-97), who in his day was the English-speaking world's most renowned person of African descent. Equiano's greatest legacy is his classic 1789 autobiography, "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African." A key document of the early movement to ban the slave trade, it includes the earliest known firsthand description by a slave of the horrific Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. "Equiano, the African" is filled with fresh revelations about this many-sided figure - most notably that Equiano may have been born not in Africa, as he claimed, but in South Carolina. For Vincent Carretta, such disconnects between the public persona and actual life of Equiano only increase his importance as a window into a number of complex, overlapping worlds. Equiano was a sailor, adventurer, entrepreneur, and jack-of-all-trades. Carretta distills years of scholarly detective work on Equiano's life and writings into a richly textured portrait of the man whose many transformations took him from slave to slave trader to anti-slave-trade advocate, and from pagan to Christian. This is "life and times" history at its best. Throughout, Carretta relates The Interesting Narrative to the historical record on Equiano, as well as to the century's economic, political, and religious undercurrents. Carretta argues that Equiano may have fabricated his African roots and his survival of the Middle Passage not only to sell more copies of his book but also to help advance the movement against the slave trade. Equiano, the African will leave readers with a fuller appreciation of the man's achievements and a deeper understanding of race and slavery in the Atlantic world. Seller Inventory # AAC9780820325712

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