Hard Crackers is honored to be hosting Marcus Rediker for a reading from his new book, The Fearless Benjamin Lay, and a discussion on Sunday, November 5th at 2 PM in Brooklyn, NY.
Join Marcus and the east coast editors of Hard Crackers for the reading and discussion.
Sunday, November 5, 2017
2pm – 4pm
Freddy’s Bar and Backroom
627 5th Avenue, Brooklyn
(between 17th Street & 18th Street)
Hard Crackers is a unique publication: political but not absorbed in elections or program, literary but not inflated, scholarly but not scholastic. Issues can be purchased online, and selections are available to read at https://hardcrackers.com/.
The Fearless Benjamin Lay
THE QUAKER DWARF WHO BECAME THE FIRST REVOLUTIONARY ABOLITIONIST
The little-known story of an eighteenth-century Quaker dwarf who fiercely attacked slavery and imagined a new, more humane way of life
The Fearless Benjamin Lay chronicles the transatlantic life and times of a singular and astonishing man—a Quaker dwarf who became one of the first ever to demand the total, unconditional emancipation of all enslaved Africans around the world. He performed public guerrilla theater to shame slave masters, insisting that human bondage violated the fundamental principles of Christianity. He wrote a fiery, controversial book against bondage that Benjamin Franklin published in 1738. He lived in a cave, made his own clothes, refused to consume anything produced by slave labor, championed animal rights, and embraced vegetarianism. He acted on his ideals to create a new, practical, revolutionary way of life.
Marcus Rediker was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1951. He comes from a working-class family, with roots in the mines and factories of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia; he grew up in Nashville and Richmond. He attended Vanderbilt University, dropped out of school and worked in a factory for three years, and graduated with a B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1976. He went to the University of Pennsylvania for graduate study, earning an M.A. and Ph.D. in history.
Marcus taught at Georgetown University from 1982 to 1994, lived in Moscow for a year (1984-5), and is currently Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also Senior Research Fellow at the Collège d’études mondiales/Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris.
He has, over the years, been active in a variety of social justice and peace movements, most recently in the worldwide campaign to abolish the death penalty. He is, by ancestry, Welsh, Scottish, Dutch, and Cherokee; he is, by upbringing, a Southerner; by generation, of the New Left; by choice, a citizen of the world.
He has written, co-written, or edited ten books: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (1987); Who Built America? (1989), volume one; The Many-Headed Hydra (2000, with Peter Linebaugh); Villains of All Nations (2004); The Slave Ship (2007); Many Middle Passages (2007); The Amistad Rebellion (2012); Mutiny and Maritime Radicalism in the Age of Revolution (2013); and Outlaws of the Atlantic (2014).