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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

H-Net's book reviews

Maritime studies: humanities? Social science? Economics? All those and more. And luckily, a part of H-Net, as "H-Maritime." H-Maritime is a low volume, high quality list on H-Net--and you don't have to join it to read it. The messages are freely available (under "Discussion logs"), and if you head right over there, you'll see Sharla Fett's review of Stephanie E. Smallwood's Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora linked under the recent messages right on the home page.

This review is a prime example of why I like H-Maritime: it was originally posted to H-Atlantic, but copied over to H-Maritime. As components of the vast H-Net, the smaller lists stay on topic, but gain from the strength of being interdisciplinary components of the whole.

And this review is also typical by being a teaching tool in itself as well as a pleasure to read--just by reading the review, I learned more about the historiography of slavery than I ever knew before. And phrases like "the Atlantic World was not a coherent geographic entity, but a space of saltwater terror" are haunting.

I usually see the saltwater out my window as one end of a vast watery road connecting all the lands of the world--but I'm looking at it differently today.

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