The Muslim slave uprising in Bahia in 1835, though unsuccessful in winning freedom for the rebels, had national repercussions, making it the most important urban slave rebellion in the Americas and the only one in which Islam played a major role. Joao Jose Reis draws on hundreds of police and trial records in which Africans, despite obvious intimidation, spoke out about their cultural, social, economic, religious, and domestic lives in Salvador.
"In the course of explaining the causes and context of the uprising, Reis provides a fascinating social history of urban life and the African community in a city that was (and is) one of the most important centers of African culture in the Americas."â€”Barbara Weinstein, American Historical Review
"[A] fine English translation . . . It is local history at its bestâ€”superior scholarship enriched by Joao Jose Reiss familiarity with the Brazilian documentation . . . The arguments advanced concerning the construction of ethnicity and how it shaped the rebel conspiracy make this book a significant contribution to Brazilian history and to the literature on African culture as it evolved in the diaspora of slavery in the Americas."â€”Catherine Lugar, History
"Slave Rebellion in Brazil is, in sum, a superb example of the very best recent Brazilian scholarship on slavery. Uniting careful research with a sophisticated treatment of issues related to race, ethnicity, religion, class, and collective action, it deserves attention not only among scholars interested in New World slavery, but also from an even wider audience."â€”B. J. Barickman, The Americas
"First-rate history."â€”Book Notes
"This book is easily the best on its subject and is, by any standard, an excellent piece of scholarship and analysis."â€”Eugene Genovese, Emory University
Joao Jose Reis teaches at the Federal University of Bahia and has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan. Arthur Brakel is a freelance writer and translator.