cover image Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security

Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security

William E. Burrows, William S. Burroughs. Random House (NY), $22.5 (401pp) ISBN 978-0-394-54124-2

Spain banned slavery in 1817, but Spanish slavers continued to smuggle Africans into their Cuban colony, where slavery was legal. In 1839, the ship Amistad was seized by blacks being transported; the officers, misleading the insurrectionists, directed them to sail the ship north, eventually reaching Long Island. There the Amistad was captured by the U.S. and taken from New York, a free state, to Connecticut, a slave state. The fate of the blacks became a cause celebre, taken up by the abolitionists, who numbered among them such distinguished figures as ex-President John Quincy Adams. This well-researched re-creation of the various trials of the Africans and the ultimate Supreme Court decision to free the captives also covers the overt and secret meddling in the case by politicians. An instructive study of an exceedingly complicated story. Jones teaches history at the University of Alabama. Illustrations not seen by PW. (January)