Island on fire : the revolt that ended slavery in the British Empire / Tom Zoellner
- Zoellner, Tom
- Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2020.
- Copyright Date:
- Physical Description:
- 363 pages : illustrations, map, portraits ; 22 cm
- A suburb of Hell -- Deacon Sharpe -- A suburb of hell -- King Sugar -- Door of no return -- The plot -- Swear to me -- The fires -- One common ruin -- Launched into eternity -- Panic -- Another island -- Freedom -- Aftermath.
- "For five horrific weeks after Christmas in 1831, Jamaica was convulsed by an uprising of its enslaved people. What started as a peaceful labor strike quickly turned into a full-blown revolt, leaving hundreds of plantation houses smoking ruins. By the time British troops had put down the rebels, more than a thousand Jamaicans lay dead from summary executions and extrajudicial murder. While the rebels lost their military gamble, their sacrifice accelerated the larger struggle for freedom in the British Atlantic. The daring and suffering of the Jamaicans galvanized public opinion throughout the empire, resulting in a decisive turn against slavery. For centuries bondage had fed Britain's appetite for sugar. Within two years of the Christmas rebellion, slavery was formally abolished. Island on Fire is a dramatic day-by-day account of this transformative uprising. A skillful storyteller, Tom Zoellner goes back to the primary sources to tell the intimate story of the men and women who tasted liberty for a few brief weeks. He memorably evokes the sights and sounds of the Caribbean in the 1830s, provides the first full portrait of its enigmatic leader Samuel Sharpe, and gives us a poignant glimpse of the dreams of the many Jamaicans who died for liberty"--
- 9780674984301 hardcover
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 285-341) and index.
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