For our May 28 meeting we'll discuss BURY THE CHAINS: PROPHETS AND REBELS IN THE FIGHT TO FREE AN EMPIRE'S SLAVES, by Adam Hochschild (Houghton Mifflin, 2005). Homemade treats will be served. You need not have attended a previous discussion to join us for this one.
The location of the discussion will be sent out a few days ahead. If you haven't received it by the Sunday before the meeting, please call[masked]. We hope to see you there!
If you'd like to read ahead, on June 25 we'll discuss All the Wild That Remains, by David Gessner.
BURY THE CHAINS:
From the author of the widely acclaimed King Leopold's Ghost comes the taut, gripping account of one of the most brilliantly organized social justice campaigns in history -- the fight to free the slaves of the British Empire. In early 1787, twelve men -- a printer, a lawyer, a clergyman, and others united by their hatred of slavery -- came together in a London printing shop and began the world's first grass-roots movement, battling for the rights of people on another continent. Masterfully stoking public opinion, the movement's leaders pioneered a variety of techniques that have been adopted by citizens' movements ever since, from consumer boycotts to wall posters and lapel buttons to celebrity endorsements. A deft chronicle of this groundbreaking antislavery crusade and its powerful enemies, Bury the Chains gives a little-celebrated human rights watershed its due at last.
"This is a wonderful book, full of richness and colour - a celebration of many people's achievements. It's a testimony to both evil and goodness: a story in which, for once, goodness wins."
"Hochschild tells of this campaign with verve, style and humor, but without preaching or moralizing, letting the horrific facts of slavery in the Caribbean (far more brutal than in the American South) speak for themselves. And he refuses to make saints out of the activists; while highlighting bravery in the face of death threats and physical violence by promoters of slavery, the author equally points out their foibles and failings . . ."
"Hochschild’s history of British abolitionism notes that ending slavery would have seemed as unlikely in eighteenth-century England as banning automobiles does today. Despite the “latent feeling” among intellectuals that slavery was barbarous, Caribbean sugar plantations were seen as a necessary part of the economy. Prefiguring many social movements to come, the anti-slavery crusade pioneered the use of petitions, eyewitness accounts, and even an early, innocent form of direct-mail solicitation. His capacious narrative is both disturbing and fascinating . . ."
--The New Yorker