The Sounds of Silence: Nineteenth-century Portugal and the Abolition of the Slave Trade

Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo
2 páginas

The Sounds of Silence: Nineteenth-century Portugal and the Abolition of the Slave Trade by João Pedro Marques, the fourth volume of the interesting series European Expansion & Global Interaction, edited by Pieter C. Emmer and Seymour Drescher, is a significant contribution to the vast and rich international literature on abolitionism, its causes and consequences, main events and historical processes. Well-informed and up-to-date in relation to the most pressing debates on the abolition of slave trade, the study is based on comprehensive research work that has amassed a considerable bulk of the primary and secondary sources and data available at several archives—from the military and the colonial collections to the diplomatic records, which are mainly to be found in Lisbon. The Sounds of Silence provides a much-needed counterpoint (and counterbalance) to an Anglocentric leaning that overwhelmingly dominates this field of studies. A more polished version of his PhD (completed and published in 1999 by the Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, and manifestly serving as the source of other publications, such as Portugal e a Escravatura dos Africanos or Sá da Bandeira e o Fim da Escravidão—Vitória da moral, desforra do interesse, both also published by the Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, in 2004 and 2008), The Sounds of Silence also offers a detailed and insightful analysis of the troubled Portuguese political history in the nineteenth century (from the changes taking place in the Euro-African-Brazilian Empire to the Portuguese civil war and its end and aftermath), revealing the points of intersection and the mutual influences that its evolution had upon the abolitionist process.