Freedom as Marronage: Book by Neil Roberts

Freedom as Marronage

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ISBN: 9780226201047    Publisher: The University of Chicago Press Year of publishing: 2015     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 264        Language: English
What is the opposite of freedom? In Freedom as Marronage, Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery. From there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been...Read more
What is the opposite of freedom? In Freedom as Marronage, Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery. From there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been understood between these poles. Crucial to his investigation is the concept of marronage - a form of slave escape that was an important aspect of Caribbean and Latin American slave systems. Examining this overlooked phenomenon - one of action from slavery and toward freedom-he deepens our understanding of freedom itself and the origin of our political ideals. Roberts examines the liminal and transitional space of slave escape in order to develop a theory of freedom as marronage, which contends that freedom is fundamentally located within this space - that it is a form of perpetual flight. He engages a stunning variety of writers, including Hannah Arendt, W. E. B. Du Bois, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the Rastafari, among others, to develop a compelling lens through which to interpret the quandaries of slavery, freedom, and politics that still confront us today.
The result is a sophisticated, interdisciplinary work that unsettles the ways we think about freedom by always casting it in the light of its critical opposite.
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About the author: Neil Roberts
Neil Roberts is associate professor of Africana studies and a faculty affiliate in political science at Williams College.

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Review:
Freedom as Marronage is an exciting, well-conceived, and passionately argued work of political theory and Africana thought. Roberts's distinctive understanding of freedom is especially welcome in...Read more
Freedom as Marronage is an exciting, well-conceived, and passionately argued work of political theory and Africana thought. Roberts's distinctive understanding of freedom is especially welcome in the context of political theory and philosophy, where slavery still appears largely (if at all) as either a metaphor or a signpost of moral and political progress. As he shows, thinking through the legacies of enslavement and the flight from it is essential to understanding freedom in a postcolonial, post-apartheid, post-civil rights moment." (Lawrie Balfour, University of Virginia)
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