Squadron: Ending the African Slave Trade [EPUB]

Squadron: Ending the African Slave Trade [EPUB]
Squadron: Ending the African Slave Trade by John Broich
2017 | EPUB | 5.85MB

The true account of the British Royal Navy’s crusade to put an end to the African slave trade once and for all

Despite the British being early abolitionists, a significant slave trade remained down the east coast of Africa through the mid-1800s, even after the Civil War ended it in the United States. What further undermined the British Empire was that many of the vessels involved in the trade were themselves British ships.

The Royal Navy’s response was to dispatch a squadron to patrol Africa’s coast. Following what began as a simple policing action, this is the story of the four Royal Naval officers who witnessed how rampant the slave trade remained and made it their personal mission to end it. When the disruption in trade ships started to step on toes within the wealthy merchant class, the campaign was cancelled. However, in the end a coalition of naval officers and abolitionists forced the British government’s hand into eradicating the slave trade entirely.

Squadron grew from historian John Broich’s passion to hunt down firsthand accounts of this untold story. Through research from archives throughout the U.K., Broich tells a tale of defiance in the face of political corruption, while delivering thrills in the tradition of high seas heroism. If it weren’t a true story, Squadron would be right at home alongside Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander series.

Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock [EPUB]

Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock [EPUB]
Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock by Amy Werbel
2018 | EPUB | 32.81MB

Anthony Comstock was America’s first professional censor. From 1873 to 1915, as Secretary of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, Comstock led a crusade against lasciviousness, salaciousness, and obscenity that resulted in the confiscation and incineration of more than three million pictures, postcards, and books he judged to be obscene. But as Amy Werbel shows in this rich cultural and social history, Comstock’s campaign to rid America of vice in fact led to greater acceptance of the materials he deemed objectionable, offering a revealing tale about the unintended consequences of censorship.

In Lust on Trial, Werbel presents a colorful journey through Comstock’s career that doubles as a new history of post–Civil War America’s risqué visual and sexual culture. Born into a puritanical New England community, Anthony Comstock moved to New York in 1868 armed with his Christian faith and a burning desire to rid the city of vice. Werbel describes how Comstock’s raids shaped New York City and American culture through his obsession with the prevention of lust by means of censorship, and how his restrictions provided an impetus for the increased circulation and explicitness of “obscene” materials. By opposing women who preached sexual liberation and empowerment, suppressing contraceptives, and restricting artistic expression, Comstock drew the ire of civil liberties advocates, inspiring more open attitudes toward sexual and creative freedom and more sophisticated legal defenses. Drawing on material culture high and low, including numerous examples of the “obscenities” Comstock seized, Lust on Trial provides fresh insights into Comstock’s actions and motivations, the sexual habits of Americans during his era, and the complicated relationship between law and cultural change.

Where Three Worlds Met: Sicily in the Early Medieval Mediterranean [EPUB]

Where Three Worlds Met: Sicily in the Early Medieval Mediterranean [EPUB]
Where Three Worlds Met: Sicily in the Early Medieval Mediterranean by Sarah Davis-Secord
2017 | EPUB | 1.49MB

Sicily is a lush and culturally rich island at the center of the Mediterranean Sea. Throughout its history, the island has been conquered and colonized by successive waves of peoples from across the Mediterranean region. In the early and central Middle Ages, the island was ruled and occupied in turn by Greek Christians, Muslims, and Latin Christians.

In Where Three Worlds Met, Sarah Davis-Secord investigates Sicily's place within the religious, diplomatic, military, commercial, and intellectual networks of the Mediterranean by tracing the patterns of travel, trade, and communication among Christians (Latin and Greek), Muslims, and Jews. By looking at the island across this long expanse of time and during the periods of transition from one dominant culture to another, Davis-Secord uncovers the patterns that defined and redefined the broader Muslim-Christian encounter in the Middle Ages.

Sicily was a nexus for cross-cultural communication not because of its geographical placement at the center of the Mediterranean but because of the specific roles the island played in a variety of travel and trade networks in the Mediterranean region. Complex combinations of political, cultural, and economic need transformed Sicily’s patterns of connection to other nearby regions—transformations that were representative of the fundamental shifts that took place in the larger Mediterranean system during the Middle Ages. The meanings and functions of Sicily’s positioning within these larger Mediterranean communications networks depended on the purposes to which the island was being put and how it functioned at the boundaries of the Greek, Latin, and Muslim worlds.