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Bury the Chains

Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves
Written by: Adam Hochschild
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: History, Europe
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

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, 12 men - a printer, a lawyer, a clergyman, and others united by their hatred of slavery - came together in a London printing shop and began a remarkable 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.

©2005 Adam Hochschild (P)2018 Tantor

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Amazing story - more balanced than Amazing grace

I had read (or rather listened to) Eric Metaxas’ paean of praise to William Wiberforce, Amazing Grace, which is in good part about the abolition of the slave trade and then of slavery in the British empire. Hochschild’s goal is broader : to tell the story as a whole. Wilberforce’s place in it is, overall, rather diminished, perhaps unfairly so; and that of Thomas Clarkson given greater importance. I am not sure that Hochschild gives adequate credit to the role of the spiritual renewal that Britain had experienced by the late 18th century. In other respects, it is a very well written book, inspiring, shocking I. It’s account of the inhumanity with which slaves were treated, and full of unexpected turns of events. This story, in abridged form, ought in my view to be part of the curriculum in every high school - in part because it marks such a historic change in the condition of humanity, and in part because it illustrates so well how a small group of committed individuals can successfully tackle what seem like insurmountable systemic problems.

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  • Carl Thompson
  • 2019-01-06

Great Eye-Opener

As an African-American I thought I understood the “heroes” and “villains” in this “racial opera” called life. But the roles are murky and variant. No “complete” heroes or villains. “ Whites are racist. Blacks are innocent prey.” That’s the narrative we’re fed from birth to death. Not so fast.
I love this book, because it reveals the truth: the lines are blurred. Some awesome Whites,selflessly risking all for the salvation of “strangers”. Some unscrupulous Blacks, selfishly selling their brothers for a pittance.
Every student should be required to “study” this book and learn “the” lesson: the worst and best resides in all of us, despite the stereotypes.

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  • BDHumbert
  • 2018-07-26

A really

Great book for folks interested in history and a broader picture of what it was like in the Americas and the role of slavery

1 person found this helpful