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

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9780061137020: Rough Crossings CD: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution

Rough Crossings turns on a single huge question: if you were black in America at the start of the Revolutionary War, who would you want to win?

Tens of thousands gave their answer, voting with their feet for Britain and King George. In response to a declaration by the last governor of Virginia that any rebel-owned slave who escaped and served the King would be emancipated, tens of thousands of slaves-Americans who clung to the sentimental notion of British freedom -- escaped from farms, plantations, and cities to try to reach the British camp. This mass movement lasted as long as the war did, and a military strategy originally designed to break the plantations of the American South had unleashed one of the great exoduses in American history.

With powerfully vivid storytelling, often in the voices of the slaves themselves and the white abolitionists who became their emancipators and protectors, Schama details the odyssey of the escaped blacks through the fires of war and the terror of potential recapture at the war's end, into inhospitable Nova Scotia, where thousands who had served the Crown were betrayed and, in a little-known hegira of the slave epic, sent across the broad, stormy ocean to Sierra Leone.

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About the Author:

Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University in New York. His award-winning books include Scribble, Scribble, Scribble; The American Future: A History; National Book Critics Circle Award winner Rough Crossings; The Power of Art; The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age; Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution; Dead Certainties (Unwarranted Speculations); Landscape and Memory; Rembrandt's Eyes; and the History of Britain trilogy. He has written and presented forty television documentary films for the BBC, PBS, and The History Channel, including the Emmy-winning Power of Art, on subjects that range from John Donne to Tolstoy.



Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University in New York. His award-winning books include Scribble, Scribble, Scribble; The American Future: A History; National Book Critics Circle Award winner Rough Crossings; The Power of Art; The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age; Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution; Dead Certainties (Unwarranted Speculations); Landscape and Memory; Rembrandt's Eyes; and the History of Britain trilogy. He has written and presented forty television documentary films for the BBC, PBS, and The History Channel, including the Emmy-winning Power of Art, on subjects that range from John Donne to Tolstoy.

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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