by Tom Zoellner

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

“Tom Zoellner tells the story of Sam Sharpe’s revolution manqué, and the subsequent abolition of slavery in Jamaica, in a way that’s acutely relevant to the racial unrest of our own time. Island on Fire is impeccably researched and seductively readable.”―Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls’ Rising

From a New York Times bestselling author, a gripping account of the slave rebellion that led to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

For five horrific weeks after Christmas in 1831, Jamaica was convulsed by an uprising of its enslaved people. What started as a peaceful labor strike quickly turned into a full-blown revolt, leaving hundreds of plantation houses in smoking ruins. By the time British troops had put down the rebels, more than a thousand Jamaicans lay dead from summary executions and extrajudicial murder.

Interview with the Author

History of the Atlantic World
Island on Fire: Interview with Tom Zoellner
5/15/20       43 min

The Rogue Historian
The Revolt that Ended Slavery in the British Empire with Tom Zoellner
7/18/20       54 min

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