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Schama, Simon. ROUGH CROSSINGS: BRITAIN, THE SLAVES, AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. New York City, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 478 pages. As New/As New.

Book-length account on subject. One of the best books on American history ever written. The first appearance of the title in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now very scarce. Presents Simon Schama's American history "from below". Never a big fan of the American Revolution's hero-leaders, Schama tells, with a historian's epic sweep and a novelist's keen, ironic eye for detail, an almost-forgotten story about the Revolution: The very first mass emancipation of black slaves in America, an emancipation that preceded the Civil War by more than 75 years and was undertaken not by the "noble" revolutionary leaders but by the historical "villains", the British. The American leaders were elite slaveowners. George Washington himself was the largest landowner in American history, and along with figures like Benjamin Franklin, one of its richest men ever. To hurt Washington and his fellow Founding Fathers where it hurt the most, the British proclaimed unconditional freedom for all slaves who could make their way to British-controlled territory. Tens of thousands of slaves escaped then fought on the British side, a Revolt-within-a-Revolution that shocked and horrified Southern whites, leaving them no choice but to cast their lot with the Northern revolutionaries they openly distrusted and despised. Despite being defeated in the end, the British kept their promise to the escaped slaves. The British Commander of New York (where thousands of slaves had sought refuge) adamantly refused George Washington's imperious demand to give the slaves back to their Founding Father owners. Defiant in defeat, the British Commander engineered their escape on ships to Nova Scotia. The emancipated slaves' saga ended with a Greek-epic voyage and return to Africa, where the British helped them establish an autonomous (and ultimately ill-fated) colony in Sierra Leone. "At the end of this immaculately controlled, brave, and important work, only the most callous reader could fail to shed a tear" (The Guardian). An absolute "must-have" title for Simon Schama and American history collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed and inscribed in black pen-marker on the title page by Simon Schama. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page or bookplate. The recipient is named. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of very few signed copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with vintage plates. One of the greatest living historian/men-of-letters. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER SIMON SCHAMA TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 006053916X. $80.00

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