Wednesday, July 19, 2006
To Hell or Barbados
Perhaps it is that I have finally read everything there is to read about the sea, but more likely it is that Mr. O'Callaghan is not the best writer of narrative history, but this is not an interesting or particularly enlightening book. It tells you in 250 pages that Cromwell sent somewhere between 12,000 and 50,000 Irish people to Barbados as slaves.
And that's kind of it. If you've never read a book about slavery, or transportation, or colonialism, I guess you might get something out of this, but even then it's not very well put together. It is not necessary, in a 250 page book, to repeat information. It's even less necessary to repeat the gory details of the 17th century slave trade, but he does. Lazy editing? Padding? Either way, not the most impressive. I'm sure a really good narrative historian could do a lot with this material, but... you get my drift.