The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey Of Slavery And Freedom

Marcus Rediker

Viking Penguin, 2012

Agent: Sandra Dijkstra

A unique account of the most successful slave rebellion in American history, now updated with a new epilogue—from the award-winning author of The Slave Ship

In this powerful and highly original account, Marcus Rediker reclaims the Amistad rebellion for its true proponents: the enslaved Africans who risked death to stake a claim for freedom. Using newly discovered evidence and featuring vividly drawn portraits of the rebels, their captors, and their abolitionist allies, Rediker reframes the story to show how a small group of courageous men fought and won an epic battle against Spanish and American slaveholders and their governments. The successful Amistad rebellion changed the very nature of the struggle against slavery. As a handful of self-emancipated Africans steered their own course for freedom, they opened a way for millions to follow.

This edition includes a new epilogue about the author's trip to Sierra Leona to  search for Lomboko, the slave-trading factory where the Amistad Africans were incarcerated, and other relics and connections to the Amistad rebellion, especially living local memory of the uprising and the people who made it. 

“Rediker details the dynamics of the relationships between the Amistad Africans, the abolitionists, and their slave-trading opposition, offering a totally enthralling account of the Amistad rebellion and its place in the broader American story of revolt against a great threat to liberty.”
Booklist, starred

“So gripping.…Superb opening chapters.…An impressive focus on the agency and identity of its African protagonists.”
The Nation

“A first-rate example of history told from the bottom up.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred

“A fresh approach to the Amistad rebellion….As history from below, this is a fine addition to studies of the Amistad rebellion. Recommended for anyone interested in African American history, the history of slavery, and American history.”
Library Journal

“Spectacularly researched and fluidly composed, this latest study offers some much needed perspective on a critical yet oft-overlooked event in America’s history.”
Publishers Weekly