Blood on the River

Marjoleine Kars


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Profile Books
28 April 2022
ISBN: 9781800812277
384 pages

From the publisher

A breathtakingly original history of the slave rebellion that almost changed the face of the Americas

Winner of the 2021 Cundill History Prize

Winner of the 2021 Frederick Douglass Prize

'A richly detailed account of a gripping human story' Washington Post

'[An] epic history ... a sweeping, thoughtful narrative' Los Angeles Times

On February 27, 1763, thousands of slaves in the Dutch colony of Berbice (in present-day Guyana) launched a massive rebellion. Surrounded by jungle and savannah, the revolutionaries fought for an entire year... and came very close to succeeding.

In Blood on the River, historian Marjoleine Kars reconstructs a rich day-to-day account of this pivotal event - drawing on over nine hundred interrogation transcripts and other documents collected by the Dutch when the rebellion finally collapsed, and which were subsequently buried in archives.

An astonishing original work of history, Blood on the River provides a rare in-depth look at the political vision of enslaved people at the dawn of the Age of Revolution - and is an extraordinary new contribution to our understanding of revolutions, slavery, and of the story of freedom in the New World.