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The little-known story of an eighteenth-century Quaker dwarf who fiercely attacked slavery and imagined a new, more humane way of lifeThe 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.

About the Author

Marcus Rediker

I was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1951, to Buford and Faye Rediker, the first of their two sons. I come from a working?class family, with roots in the mines and factories of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia; I grew up in Nashville and Richmond. I 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. I went to the University of Pennsylvania for graduate study, earning an M.A. and Ph. D. in history. I taught at Georgetown University from 1982 to 1994, lived in Moscow for a year (1984-5) , and am currently Professor and Chair in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh. I have, 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. I am, by ancestry, Welsh, Scottish, Dutch, and Cherokee; I am, by upbringing, a Southerner; I am, by generation, of the New Left; I am, by choice, a citizen of the world. I have written (or co-written) five books: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (1987) , Who Built America? (1989) , volume one; The Many-Headed Hydra (2000) , Villains of All Nations (2004) and The Slave Ship: A Human History (2007) . It has been my good fortune to lecture throughout the United States and abroad, in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, Moscow, Sydney, and Tokyo; to have my writings translated into French, German, Greek, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish; and to hold fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the Andrew P. Mellon Foundation. It has been my much greater good fortune to be married to Wendy Z. Goldman, a professor of Russian/Soviet history at Carnegie Mellon University. We have two children, Zeke and Eva, and a bulldog, Jellybean.

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