The Book Summary
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The central theme in Reynolds book is the endurance that slaves underwent in their journey from Africa to the Americas. The journey was horrific as the slaves faced oppressions of all kind. Clothes could be taken out of their bodies, they would be forced to shave or shaved without their willingness (Reynolds, 1993). The book records that within a span of three centuries, over ten million slaves were taken out of Africa across the Atlantic to the Americas in the most inhuman circumstances. Along the way, some slaves lost their lives but this could not jeopardize the economic sense of the trade due to the massive number of slaves that were transported.
In the wake of the 19th century, the traders succumbed to the increasing social pressure by human rights groups to abolish slave trade. The story told in the book is a clear picture of the height of suffering the African slaves went through and no monetary value can be enough to compensate the torture, damage, and pain. The form of slavery practiced by Africans for Africans was unique in its own way. For examples, women were forced to marry their masters or to be their concubine (Reynolds, 1993).
Reynolds in his book uses historical facts to structure the book in a manner that gives meaning to the era of slave trade. The facts show the real state of affairs dating back to three centuries ago. The author’s talent is shown in his ability to capture events of the past without affecting the morals of readers in modern world. The message covers the journey of slaves from the African land to North America and all the events that took place in most exciting way without favors or biasness.
Reynolds tells the story in the most amicable manner. This is illustrated by the fact that the book is written without tables and statistical data that could be nuisance to readers. Instead, the author uses the graphic visual rendering of the slave trade across the Atlantic. The pictorials are drawn from a combination of primary and contemporary artistry, which depict the real situation as it were during the period. The use of this kind of art also gives the face of technology that was used then. A book written in modern time would contain pictorials taken with advanced and modern gadgets. As good as they can, the artistic representation of the pictures in Edward Reynolds’ book takes the audience back to the times of hardship faced by African slaves.
The book begins by first giving a comprehensive cover of the African societies and how the slave trade affected the Africans and Western nations. The myths of the African societies and the fighting spirit of Africans can be critically observed by readers of this book. For instance, Reynolds (1993) shows how slaves in Africa enjoyed equal treatment with their masters to the extent of sharing same dish. The book is a comprehensive cover of the events as they unfolded in the slavery years, captured in a short historical book. The author uses simple and vivid language to convey complex information in the simplest way. Readers enjoy a masterpiece in the most convenient ways.
Edward Reynolds is a Ghanaian who was born in Ghana. Being a great historian, he rose through the academic ladder to become the professor of History abroad in the University of California. Other than Reynolds being an academician, he is also a committed Christian having been given the position in the Westminster Assembly. He uses the Christian ministry to reach out to people through evangelical missions across borders. His Christian background laid foundation for him to be chosen as the Kings chaplain back in 1660.
The fact that the book stands the test of times to convey message of things that took place centuries ago shows the lifelessness of the book. This is a useful book for any historian willing to probe into the period of slavery across the Atlantic. The book is structured into chapters (ten chapters), which are spread in the 182 pages of the book. For any scholar willing to look for loads of information on the Atlantic slave trade quickly, then I would recommend Stand the Storm: A History of the Atlantic Slave Trade. This assurance is supported by a number of reviewers who have expressed satisfaction in reading the book. The most outstanding feature noted by most readers in the preciseness and simplicity of the literature that captivates readers from the introduction to the end.
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