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The Empire of Necessity

The Empire of Necessity Cover

The Empire of Necessity

Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World

By Greg Grandin

Picador USA, Paperback, 9781250062109, 400pp.

Publication Date: January 13, 2015

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Description

"NEW YORK TIMES "EDITOR'S CHOICE
"SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE "RECOMMENDED BOOK
WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZE

One morning in 1805, off a remote island in the South Pacific, Captain Amasa Delano, a New England seal hunter, climbed aboard a distressed Spanish ship carrying scores of West Africans he thought were slaves. They weren't. In fact, they were performing an elaborate ruse, having risen up earlier and slaughtered most of the crew and officers. When Delano, an idealistic, anti-slavery republican, finally realized the deception-that the men and women he thought were humble slaves were actually running the ship-he rallied his crew to respond with explosive violence.
Drawing on research on four continents, "The Empire of Necessity" is the untold history of this extraordinary event and its bloody aftermath. Delano's blindness that day has already inspired one masterpiece-Herman Melville's "Benito Cereno." Now historian Greg Grandin returns to these dramatic events to paint an indelible portrait of a world in the throes of revolution, providing a new transnational history of slavery in the Americas-and capturing the clash of peoples, economies, and faiths that was the New World in the early 1800s.



About the Author
Greg Grandin is the author of "Fordlandia," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, as well as "Empire's Workshop" and "The Blood of Guatemala." A professor of history at New York University and a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Public Library's Cullman Center, Grandin has served on the UN Truth Commission investigating the Guatemalan Civil War and has written for the "Los Angeles Times," "The Nation," "New Statesman," and "The New York Times."
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