Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast

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Product Details
$18.99  $17.66
New Press
Publish Date
5.43 X 8.43 X 1.1 inches | 1.01 pounds

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About the Author

Marjoleine Kars is a professor of history at MIT. A noted historian of slavery, she is the author of Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast (The New Press) and Breaking Loose Together. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Praise for Blood on the River:
"A richly detailed account of a gripping human story."
--H. W. Brands, The Washington Post

"[An] epic history. . . . A sweeping, thoughtful narrative, joining a new wave of books that make visible previously dismissed Black voices."
--Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times

"A riveting addition to the history of the search for freedom in the Americas."
--Kirkus Reviews

"This striking study unearths a meaningful chapter in the history of slavery."
--Publishers Weekly

"Meticulously researched and careful to prioritize the perspectives of the marginalized, Blood on the River offers a fascinating glimpse of the complex history of slavery in the Americas."

"A must-read for anyone interested in slave revolts and the history of Atlantic slavery."
--Library Journal

"A gripping tale about the human need for freedom. . . . The story of the Berbice Rebellion begs to be told, and Kars' telling is impressive."
--Martha Anne Toll, NPR Books

"A powerful book that will appeal to experts and--thanks to the lively and accessible writing style--the general public alike."
--Black Perspectives

"[A] masterpiece . . . Marjoleine Kars has unearthed a little-known rebellion in the Dutch colony of Berbice and rendered its story with insight, empathy, and wisdom. You'll find no easy platitudes herein. Instead, you'll find human beings in full relief, acting with courage, kindness, calculation, and mendacity in their quest for self-determination. Blood on the River is a story for the ages."
--Elizabeth Fenn, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People

"Takes readers on a moving journey deep into a colonial heart of darkness. Drawing on rich and challenging sources, Marjoleine Kars reveals enslaved people making a rebellion that lingers in memory and landscape."
--Alan Taylor, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Internal Enemy and William Cooper's Town

"This riveting story offers a close look at the inner dynamics of a slave war--its fraught alliances and antagonisms, strategies and tactics, and the grievances and aspirations of its combatants and resistors."
--Vincent Brown, author of Tacky's Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

"One of the great slave revolts in modern history has at last found a gifted historian to tell its epic tale. Using a breathtaking archival discovery to make the Berbice rebels vivid flesh-and-blood actors, Marjoleine Kars deeply enriches the global scholarship on the history of slavery and resistance."
--Marcus Rediker, author of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom

"Vivid. . . . The aborted attempt at freedom she chronicles provides a harrowing counterpoint to the American and French revolutions that would soon follow."
--Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World

"Marjoleine Kars has brought from the archives the voices of the enslaved, both in hope and in defeat. A tale of importance for our time."
Natalie Zemon Davis, author of Trickster Travels and The Return of Martin Guerre

"This is required reading for historians of the Black Atlantic world."
--Jennifer Morgan, professor of history, NYU, and author of Reckoning with Slavery