Publisher description for The many-headed hydra : sailors, slaves, commoners, and the hidden history of the revolutionary Atlantic / Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


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Winner of the International Labor History Award

Long before the American Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, a motley crew of sailors, slaves, pirates, laborers, market women, and indentured servants had ideas about freedom and equality that would forever change history. The Many Headed-Hydra recounts their stories in a sweeping history of the role of the dispossessed in the making of the modern world.

When an unprecedented expansion of trade and colonization in the early seventeenth century launched the first global economy, a vast, diverse, and landless workforce was born. These workers crossed national, ethnic, and racial boundaries, as they circulated around the Atlantic world on trade ships and slave ships, from England to Virginia, from Africa to Barbados, and from the Americas back to Europe.

Marshaling an impressive range of original research from archives in the Americas and Europe, the authors show how ordinary working people led dozens of rebellions on both sides of the North Atlantic. The rulers of the day called the multiethnic rebels a 'hydra' and brutally suppressed their risings, yet some of their ideas fueled the age of revolution. Others, hidden from history and recovered here, have much to teach us about our common humanity.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Capitalism -- Social aspects -- Great Britain -- History.
Capitalism -- Social aspects -- West Indies, British -- History.
Slave trade -- Great Britain -- History.
Slave trade -- West Indies, British -- History.
Great Britain -- History -- Puritan Revolution, 1642-1660.
Mutiny -- Great Britain -- History.
Radicalism -- West Indies, British -- History.
Radicalism -- United States -- History.
United States -- Social conditions -- To 1865.
Great Britain -- Colonies -- Social conditions.
Puritan Revolution (Great Britain : 1642-1660) -- fast -- (OCoLC)fst01354150
Capitalism -- Social aspects. -- fast -- (OCoLC)fst00846453
British colonies. -- fast -- (OCoLC)fst01910374
Mutiny. -- fast -- (OCoLC)fst01031168
Radicalism. -- fast -- (OCoLC)fst01087015
Slave trade. -- fast -- (OCoLC)fst01120405
Social conditions. -- fast -- (OCoLC)fst01919811
Great Britain. -- fast -- (OCoLC)fst01204623
United States. -- fast -- (OCoLC)fst01204155
West Indies -- British West Indies. -- fast -- (OCoLC)fst01243266