The Slave Ship: A Human History

For your book review, please answer the following questions:

Rediker’s thesis is related to the “violence of abstraction.” What does he mean by this term? According to Rediker, how have historians used the” violence of abstraction” in their accounts of slavery? How does he counter the “violence of abstraction?” (hint: pg. 12) What is his thesis?

Although Rediker’s book is titled The Slave Ship, his scholarship is actually about the people involved with the slave ship. What are the four “human dramas” he describes and who are the actors? I am not looking for specific people, but rather the “role” they fulfill.

Elaborate briefly on these four dramas- be sure to include the actors and how they related to one another.

Who are “the greedy robbers” in the slave ship drama? Briefly describe the role of “the greedy robbers” in Rediker’s narrative.

Rediker states “I offer this study with the greatest of reverence for those who suffered almost unthinkable violence, terror, and death, in the firm belief that we must remember that such horrors have always been, and remain, central to the making of global capitalism” (13). Does this personal statement about his motives help or hinder his scholarship? Why or why not?

Sample Solution