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Reviews of Agony of Asar

“Though every bit as interesting as The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789), [Capitein’s account] is not well known. Parker’s accessible and affordable edition should bring Capetein to a wider readership … One of the book’s chief selling points will be the facsimile reprint of the original Latin text. There is a well-reasearched introduction that describes Capitein’s life and education in the Netherlands and a handy appendix on 18th-century African intellectuals.” — Times Literary Supplement

Written by the first former slave to receive a college degree in Holland, The Agony of Asar: A Thesis on Slavery by the Former Slave, Jacobus Eliza Johannes Capitein, 1717–1747 is a landmark work in the history of African slavery, newly translated into English. Contrary to most intellectuals of his day, Capitein believed that slavery and Christianity were compatible, because he viewed freedom as a spiritual matter and not a physical one. Duke University history professor Grant Parker ably guides the modern reader through Capitein’s arguments and insights.” — Publishers Weekly

“A brilliant translation … an excellent book.” — Washington Times