Booktopia has been placed into Voluntary Administration. Orders have been temporarily suspended, whilst the process for the recapitalisation of Booktopia and/or sale of its business is completed, following which services may be re-established. All enquiries from creditors, including customers with outstanding gift cards and orders and placed prior to 3 July 2024, please visit
Add free shipping to your order with these great books
The United States Governed by Six Hundred Thousand Despots : A True Story of Slavery; A Rediscovered Narrative, with a Full Biography - John Swanson Jacobs

The United States Governed by Six Hundred Thousand Despots

A True Story of Slavery; A Rediscovered Narrative, with a Full Biography

By: John Swanson Jacobs, Jonathan D S Schroeder (Editor)

Paperback | 21 May 2024

Sorry, we are not able to source the book you are looking for right now.

We did a search for other books with a similar title, however there were no matches. You can try selecting from a similar category, click on the author's name, or use the search box above to find your book.

Lost on the other side of the world since 1855, the story of John Swanson Jacobs finally returns to America.

For one hundred and sixty-nine years, a first-person slave narrative written by John Swanson Jacobs-brother of Harriet Jacobs-was buried in a pile of newspapers in Australia. Jacobs's long-lost narrative, The United States Governed by Six Hundred Thousand Despots, is a startling and revolutionary discovery. A document like this-written by an ex-slave and ex-American, in language charged with all that can be said about America outside America, untampered with and unedited by white abolitionists-has never been seen before. A radical abolitionist, sailor, and miner, John Jacobs has a life story that is as global as it is American. Born into slavery, by 1855, he had fled both the South and the United States altogether, becoming a stateless citizen of the world and its waters. That year, he published his life story in an Australian newspaper, far from American power and its threats. Unsentimental and unapologetic, Jacobs radically denounced slavery and the state, calling out politicians and slaveowners by their names, critiquing America's founding documents, and indicting all citizens who maintained the racist and intolerable status quo.

Reproduced in full, this narrative-which entwines with that of his sister and with the life of their friend Frederick Douglass-here opens new horizons for how we understand slavery, race, and migration, and all that they entailed in nineteenth-century America and the world at large. The second half of the book contains a full-length, nine-generation biography of Jacobs and his family by literary historian Jonathan Schroeder. This new guide to the world of John Jacobs will transform our sense of it-and of the forces and prejudices built into the American project. To truly reckon with the lives of John Jacobs is to see with new clarity that in 1776, America embarked on two experiments at once: one in democracy, the other in tyranny.
Industry Reviews
"The rediscovery of a long-forgotten slave narrative would be notable enough. But this one, scholars who have seen it say, is unique for its global perspective and its uncensored fury, from a man living far outside the trans-Atlantic network of white abolitionists who often limited what the formerly enslaved could write about their experiences." -- Jennifer Schuessler * New York Times *

More in History

Operation Biting - Max Hastings

RRP $37.99


The Shortest History of Japan - Lesley Downer

RRP $27.99


Vertigo : The Rise and Fall of Weimar Germany - Harald Jähner

RRP $36.99


Dark Emu : Aboriginal Australia and the Birth of Agriculture - Bruce Pascoe
Indigenous Australia For Dummies : 2nd edition - Larissa Behrendt

RRP $39.95


The Battle of Long Tan - Peter Fitzsimons

RRP $49.99


When the War Came Home - Lesley Parr

RRP $16.99


Alice : The biggest untold story in the history of money - Stuart Kells
Killing for Country - David Marr

RRP $39.99


The Vanishing Point - Andrea Hotere

RRP $34.99


Bennelong and Phillip : A History Unravelled - Kate Fullagar

RRP $55.00


The Choice : A true story of hope - Edith Eger

RRP $24.99


Humankind : A Hopeful History - Rutger Bregman

RRP $24.99


Knockout : Great Australian Boxing Stories - Grantlee Kieza