Comprising personal accounts from an intensely consequential chapter in human history, the transatlantic slave trade, The Great Stain takes listeners from the depths of suffering to the heights of human dignity.
There have been numerous books about the why, when, and where of slavery in America, but there is a dearth of material exposing what slavery was actually like. In The Great Stain, researcher Noel Rae frames firsthand accounts from former slaves, slave owners, and even African slavers.
Rae exposes the commerce and culture of slavery, not only from an economic or moral standpoint but also through multitudinous perspectives within it: a young girl is beaten after being accused of stealing a piece of candy, a slave ship's surgeon recounts brutal treatment and squalid conditions, an Englishman visiting Haiti observes as violent uprisings break out. So many viewpoints ensure that no historical blind spot will leave the picture of an era incomplete.
The Great Stain weaves a tapestry of good and evil, of greed and kindness, and of a civilization as it develops, evolves, and continues to move toward the future. More than that, the listener will encounter the complex economic underpinning of an entire society based on the exploitation of the cheapest labor.
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by Christopher Hibbert
by Nancy Springer
by Iain Lawrence
by Douglas Reeman
by Howard Jacobson
by M.K. Hume
by Mary Jo Putney
by J.M. Barrie
by Barbara Cleverly
by Alexander Mikaberidze
"Rae explores centuries of writings by those personally involved with or impacted by the slave trade, providing a powerful and palpable tapestry of the problems and horrors of slavery. Narrator Steven Crossley's deep, slightly raspy voice and English accent are instilled with a tone that evokes the voice-over of the classic British documentary. While enjoyable, the overwhelmingly consistent voice falls flat in an audiobook that hinges upon giving life to multiple voices. Too often, it's unclear where the large swaths of quoting from original sources such as Solomon Northrup, Frederick Douglass, Reverend Cotton Mather, and Phillis Wheatley have ended and Rae's prose has begun. Using multiple narrators would have made this a more effective experience, helping listeners connect more meaningfully with each person Rae includes. L.E. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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