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Amistad: 'Give Us Free' (Newmarket Pictorial Moviebooks) Hardcover – June 15, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Newmarket Pictorial Moviebooks
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Newmarket Press; English Language edition (June 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557043515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557043511
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 11.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,454,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Scores of photographs, storyboard illustrations, and historical documents illuminate the making of the Spielberg film about the slave-ship mutiny and trial that helped ignite the Civil War. Also included are essays by the director, poet Maya Angelou, and actress/choreographer/producer Debbie Allen.

From School Library Journal

YA-This book will appeal primarily to YAs interested in film study because of its excellent background on the casting, producing, and shooting of Amistad. Students of history will also be interested because of the additional information on the insurrection itself. The large, eye-catching photographs draw readers to the emotional essays of Maya Angelou, Steven Spielberg, and Debbie Allen, who had the idea for the film. Her desire to bring the story to the screen led her to Spielberg because she believed he was the one director who could bring a story of this nature to fruition. Despite the film's somewhat diminished success, this book will cause many readers to question how much more of our country's history has been kept hidden.
William Byrd, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"THE BEST!", Its inspiring on one's will to keep himself and other Africans from the early slave trade which destroyed many families in America. Exciting effort to fight in a foreign country without knowing its language or laws. Very forth right in telling truth of American's untold "ugly" slave trade and what slave traders were willing to do just to keep it alive. Amistad's truth about slavery was very emotional, determined to express the will of any free man who's fighting williness to remain a free soul. A Heartfelt story about a lone struggle for Africans coming to America for the first time and having to face the ugliness of slavery, this was not right and should not have happened. All wasn't lost in the end and my true thanks to the many allies: former President - John Q. Adams, Mr(s) Baldwin, Gibbs, and former slave Joadson for their unyeilding efforts to abolish this ugly sore(slavery) which infested deep within America. I truely loved this story, because it was simply "THE BEST!" Also, thanks to Alex Pate and Steven Spielberg and the many others for bring out this ugly hidden part of America's history, I never knew this happened. This could have been me and I cried when I saw the movie. "THE BEST...."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By reviewer on December 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Just like his film on it, Steven Spielberg's work on this book, "Amistad: 'Give Us Free'", was well-executed. It reminds one of Alex Haley's "Roots". Both stir emotions. Every bit of the story shows how cruel a man can be to his fellow man. And, I disagree with all those who term this true story "a story of illegally enslaved Africans", (Mr Spielberg didn't). We are shying away from the truth, which is that no African, (not even one), was a legal slave. There is nothing that made one slave legal, and the other illegal. There is no legality in slavery. Absolutely! That treacherous and heartless people overpowered, kidnapped, and transported, (in the most inhumane manner), their fellow human beings to America and other places does not, in any way, make those victims of inhumanity "legal slaves". Regardless of all the face-saving tales that those who defiled our lands with the innocent blood, tears, and sweat of millions of Africans will like us to believe, the truth is that not even a single African volunteered to become a slave in any circumstance. They were all forced into it: with no option but death. Those who ripped and enjoyed the bloodied fruits of slavery merely sought cheap excuses in order to justify what they did. But we know that there is nothing legal in kidnapping and subjecting human beings to such a horrible condition.
'La Amistad' tells a soul-eroding story. Cinque and his cohorts are true heroes. They are heroes of freedom, heroes of justice, and heroes of human rights. Songs have been composed about them. Books have been written about them. Films have been made about them. And, history will forever appreciate their gallantry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LA VONDA R. STAPLES on September 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Put yourself in the shoes of the victims of slavery. Allow yourself to really, really feel what it would be like to have every aspect of your culture, values, language stripped from you. Imagine having to sit by while someone rapes your wife, mother, 11 year old daughter. Imagine having to eat an animal which you have been taught is poison. Imagine not having freedom to marry and having to watch your baby being driven away in a wagon, never being seen again, because one man has taken it upon himself the right to sell another. Sit there, close your eyes and then you will be brought into a deeper understanding of the people of the Amistad.
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Format: Hardcover
MAYA ANGELOU opens this moviebook with truth. The answer to why our story must be retold over and over again. The shocking truth that a black man's skin could be cut into a postage stamp size flap and sold as souvenirs by his racist white murderers. The generational truth that Cinque's remarkable, chilling story lives on beyond the relic flap of that lynching. America today is the reason AMISTAD must live another generation in hopes that we try to do better.

In the palpable words of Debbie Allen, the inhumanity of slavery in America was put on trial. When Joseph Cinque courageously and unselfishly challenged America's Declaration of Independence, its Constitution, its President of the United States, its abolitionists, its Supreme Court, and the Queen of Spain, the entire world watched. The truth about America's slave system was revealed. That truth must continue to be discussed and explored and remembered from one generation to the next. AMISTAD, therefore, should never die on a bookshelf or in history. AMISTAD forces Joseph Cinque's story into eternity. The pictures and quotes in this fine moviebook should continue to shame and inspire all of us today to paint a better existence for all mankind.

Ask a man of extraordinary intellectual power who is equally creative such as Steven Spielberg to define "truth" and he will show you it in living color page after page, clip after clip. You will beg to discover it over and over again because AMISTAD commands that type of loyalty to tell our story repeatedly to our children, black and white. Readers will gain a different perspective on "Give Us Free" each time. You will cry your own script to the young and help keep Cinque's purpose alive to make life better. The truth not only sets us all free, it keeps us free.
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