December 22, 2013

The Empire of Necessity

cover image of The Empire of Necessity
Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World
Greg Grandin

In 1805, off a remote island in the South Pacific, New England seal hunter Captain Amasa Delano climbed aboard a distressed Spanish ship carrying West Africans that he thought were slaves. But the slaves had already seized control of the vessel, slaughtered most of the crew, and then staged an elaborate ruse by acting as if they were servants. When Delano realized the deception, he responded with surprising violence given his anti-slavery roots. Having triumphed with Pulitzer and National Book Award finalist Fordlandia (2009), Grandin returns with another captivating account.