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History in “Amistad” Novel by David Pesci Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: Jan 31st, 2022

Introduction

Thesis: Generally, the book can be evaluated as a fine piece on the history and African people’s life in the United States during the end of the nineteenth century, and providing sustainable data, deep investigations, thought-provoking ideas, and an interesting layout.

Main body

The book “Amistad” written by David Pesci can be acclaimed as a strong piece of literature depicting the miseries of African slaves’ life on a slave ship called “Amistad”. Within the book, the audience will find a coherent and cohesive representation of all the hardships those people had to deal with along with their efforts to change their situation and their accomplishments in this area. In the following paper, this book will be addressed in terms of its connection to the valuable information concerning private and public life and the history of African-American interaction studied by us during the classes. Generally, the book can be evaluated as a fine piece on the history and African people’s life in the United States during the end of the nineteenth century and provides sustainable data, deep investigations, thought-provoking ideas, and an interesting layout.

First of all, speaking about the message of the book, it should be stated that it is related to the history of African slavery, and its roots in the United States. The book seems to present a reliable and really thought-provoking historical account of the days when African people had to face all the miseries of being enslaved by white people from Europe and America. The author presents a well-developed story-telling and sort of a concealed argument on how exactly historical and political matters were involved in the process of African slaves’ adaptation in the United States.

The book begins with an account of the events leading to the apprising of enslaved African people who were made to work on a slave ship. Then the author relates the events of those days showing all the difficulties that a group of African slaves had to face in the United States during the period considered in the book. According to McCracken (par.23), the story plot of the book can be described as it follows,

The coastal schooner Amistad (“friendship” in Spanish) was carrying illegally-taken Africans from Havana to Puerto Príncipe when the slaves on board rebelled and took control of the ship, killing all but three of their captors. The Africans sailed eastward toward home during the day but at night the Spaniards-the only ones on board who knew any type of celestial navigation-sailed northward. Amistad eventually ended up off the coast of New York, where officers of the USS Washington approached and took control of Amistad.

The book ends up by relating the events leading to the freeing of these enslaved people.

Discussing the events addressed in the book under consideration, it should be stated that they are addressed in a way easy for understanding and evaluating their results for the future of the country and the region as a whole along with the future of African people who were stolen from their lands and were turned to be slaves. Through the pages of the book, it becomes clear that during the period of flourishing of enslavement phenomenon African people had to suffer an unlimited amount of pains and hurts of this humiliating condition.

Addressing the weak points of the book, the following comment by McCracken (par.25) seems to be very interesting:

Pesci’s work of historical fiction combines some aspects of the story and adds other plot twists, as he freely admits, but that does not detract from the remarkable events of this story, nor from the well-told tale he spins. Some aspects of the story are historically inaccurate–the Coast Guard makes an appearance but didn’t actually appear until 1915, and some are heavy-handed–the Spanish minister who is upset at the Administration’s inability to tell the press or the courts what to do blurts out, “This, this flaccid government of yours will be your ruin.

With regards to the author’s style, it should be said that it is rather interesting and easy for comprehension and perception. The strength of his style is in his ability to make every reader interested and involved in the process of reading. The book is developed in a way that helps to feel oneself a part of the events of those days, to “listen” to the dialogues of its characters, and to feel the real atmosphere existing during those days. Through the pages of the book, it becomes clear that certain social conflicts and contradictions were hard to be avoided and were also critical for changing some mistaken practices and unfair orders within the country.

In addition, the book presents thorough research with reliable and trustworthy information on the way these conflicts involved all the social layers of American society and how they affected it. There is also a significant piece of information on the economical background of these conflicts. The author presents a well-developed argument on how exactly economic matters were involved in the process of the country’s democratization. This excellent historical fiction book is developed in a single narrative voice which is so convenient for its understanding. Such a welcoming and easy for comprehension narrative style gives a feeling that you are having a friendly conversation with some interesting person rather than studying difficult material on serious historical matters.

Reflecting on the information related by Pesci in his book, I would say that it is well structured and easy to accept. The book can be read really fast and provides its audience with considerable facts and numerous interesting details. I especially enjoyed the parts describing the events related to the efforts by the main character to unite his fellow men who appeared in the same difficult situation of being enslaved and to lead them in their pursuit of freedom. The primary purpose of this book seems to make the audience interested in the history of African people’s enslavement in the United States, to encourage them to learn some important lessons, and to make their conclusions as to the important social matters which are connected to the lives of African-American citizens.

Conclusion

Concluding on all the information related above, it should be mentioned that the book “Amistad” written by David Pesci can be described as a successful and efficient work on the history of African enslavement in the United States which fully accomplishes its goal to encourage the audience to think about the important social issues related to this sad historical phenomenon.

The book features a simple for understanding, logical, coherent, and chronologically organized layout which makes it really convenient for the understanding of its ideas. Reading this book has gotten me into thinking about the difficulties that enslaved African people had to face, and changed some of my attitudes towards them. In particular, I learned how to respect them for their strength in their efforts to adapt to the new society along with its living conditions, culture, ideas and beliefs, and lifestyles.

Works Cited

McCracken, Peter. n. d. Amistad. The Resurrection of a Remarkable Story. n. d. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2022, January 31). History in “Amistad” Novel by David Pesci. https://ivypanda.com/essays/history-in-amistad-novel-by-david-pesci/

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IvyPanda. (2022, January 31). History in “Amistad” Novel by David Pesci. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/history-in-amistad-novel-by-david-pesci/

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"History in “Amistad” Novel by David Pesci." IvyPanda, 31 Jan. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/history-in-amistad-novel-by-david-pesci/.

1. IvyPanda. "History in “Amistad” Novel by David Pesci." January 31, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/history-in-amistad-novel-by-david-pesci/.


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IvyPanda. "History in “Amistad” Novel by David Pesci." January 31, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/history-in-amistad-novel-by-david-pesci/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "History in “Amistad” Novel by David Pesci." January 31, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/history-in-amistad-novel-by-david-pesci/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'History in “Amistad” Novel by David Pesci'. 31 January.

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