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Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora (New Approaches to African History) Hardcover – December 6, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0521806626 ISBN-10: 0521806623

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Product Details

  • Series: New Approaches to African History (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (December 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521806623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521806626
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,906,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An outstanding synthesis of the history of the African diaspora. Well conceived, argued, and written in an engaging style, Reversing Sail will be indispensable in courses on the peoples of Africa and its diaspora. Specialists, students, and the general reader will find this book intellectually stimulating and enlightening."
- Colin Palmer, Dodge Professor of History, Princeton University

"With commanding scholarship both broad and deep, and with a style that is at once engaging and impeccable in its judgment, Michael Gomez's Reversing Sail fulfills a long-standing need for a synoptic history of the African Diaspora. Synthesizing the best of classical and contemporary scholarship, Gomez provides a powerful interpretive framework that situates and links the African Diaspora at every step with the movement of world history. Reversing Sail is much more than a textbook, but it is also one that will challenge and inspire teachers and students by the new standard set by what is a landmark work."
- Robert A. Hill, Professor of History and Editor-in-Chief, The Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers, UCLA

"...a tour de force of decades of scholarship on the African Diaspora... an accessible, though current and sophisticated text summarizing the historical concept of the African Diaspora...."
- H-Atlantic , Jeffrey A. Fortin, History Department, University of New Hampshire

"This volume is an excellent addition to the rapidly growing number of books on the African Diaspora and a fine introductory text that will be greatly appreciated by students new to the field." - Larry Hudson, University of Rochester

"One of the text's greatest strengths is that it shows that the people affected by the African Diaspora were not passive participants. Rather they actively responded to their changing situation and worked hard to protect themselves, their families, and their friends in the new circumstances in which they found themselves. This becomes even more evident as Gomez explores the development of race within the second section of the work and how race redefined the place of Africans within the developing Atlantic world. As an undergraduate text, the work serves an important role in that it provides a general history while raising questions that a class could explore and debate." - Ty M. Reese, Department of History, University of North Dakota, H-NET

Book Description

This book examines the global unfolding of the African Diaspora, the migrations and dispersals of people of African, from antiquity to the modern period. Their exploits, challenges, and struggles are discussed over a wide expanse of time in ways that link as well as differentiate past and present circumstances. The experiences of Africans in the Old World, in the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds, is followed by their movement into the New, where their plight in lands claimed by Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and English colonial powers is analyzed from enslavement through the Cold War. While appropriate mention is made of persons of renown, particular attention is paid to the everyday lives of working class people and their cultural efflorescence. The book also attempts to explain contemporary plights and struggles through the lens of history.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book has a statement in its epilogue that is among the best I've ever seen as a match between the subject matter and the purpose of the book itself - Michael A. Gomez writes of the growth of reconnection between Africa proper and those scattered around the world, stating that, `Given the ongoing impoverishment of many in Africa and the Diaspora, such interrelationships require deeper and more practical meaning if they are to play a significant role in ending the despair. The incredible beauty and creativity of the African Diaspora, combined with its unbelievable suffering and disadvantage, are contradictions awaiting resolution.'

Gomez is a professor of history at NYU, a university that offers degree programmes in the study of the African Diaspora. Gomez remarks on the value of the interactions with people at the university in his acknowledgements - it is in the storytelling and conversations that many subjects such as this one come to greater life and clarity. Gomez writes that the story of the African Diaspora is unlike any other in the history of the world, full of contradiction and ambiguity, but nonetheless sharing a pedigree as ancient as almost any other continuing society in the world.

Gomez makes the distinction between the study of the African Diaspora and the study of African Americans in two ways: first, it looks to see the influence of and influences on African-descended persons in different ways in new non-African environments and cultures; and second, it makes comparisons and examines relationships between these communities in geographically separated or distinct ways. It is not tied to the American nation-state, or any other particular nation-state or continent, but looks at persons of African descent outside Africa on a global scale.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By jlip on December 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Professor Gomez has written a rather concise but scholarly general overview of the history of the African Diaspora. For three years I have been teaching a course in the Afr. and Afr. Amer. Studies department at the University of Memphis which is designed to introduce the student to the concept and early history of the Diaspora. I had also been assiduously searching for a quality, cost efficient text which could serve as a compliment to my notes. I think that I have found it in this work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hill on March 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reversing sail: A history Of The African Diaspora, by Michael A. Gomez, knocks it out of the ball park; with this highly engaging, well reseached, & wonderfully written book. He leaves no thread untied, in bringing together the history of the African Diaspora; and his scholarship is beyond reproach. He unites the African Diaspora in a insightful, "Holistic" way, better than any book on the subject I have read so far,I defiantly, highly, recommened this wonderful book !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Big Sistah Patty on September 17, 2009
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I liked this book because it offers a wealth of valuable resources for a more indepth study of the African diaspora. I reccommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GeorgeAnambra on September 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good book if you are looking for facts not interpretations
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By Fresh on December 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book! It has a lot of material that would interest the reader. I would recommended this book to others.
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