Radical media, politics and culture.

of hydras and atlanteans

At Land's End, the westward foot of england, break waves whose origins lie off the stormy coast of Newfoundland. Some of these breakers may even be traced to the coast of Florida and the West Indies. For centuries fisherment on the lonely shores of Ireland have been able to interpret these long Atlantic swells. The power of an ocean wave is directly related to the speed and duration of the wind that sets it in motion, and to the "length of its fetch," or the distance from its point of origin. The longer the fetch, the greater the wave. Nothing can stop these long waves. They become visible only at the end, when they rise and break, for most of their fetch the surface of the ocean is undisturbed In 1769, Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin noted that packets from Falmouh took about two weeks longer to reach New York than merchant ships took to sail from Rhode Island o London. In talking to Nantucket whalers, he learned about the Gulf Stream:the fishermen and the whales kept out of it, while the English captains stemmed the current, "too wise to be counselled by simple American fishermen." He then drew up some "Maritime Observations" in 1786, and wih these the chart of the Gulf Stream was published in America.



Our book looks from below. We have attempted to recover some of the lost history of the multiethnic class that was essential to the rise of capitalism and the modern, global economy. The historic invisibility of many of the book's subjects owes much to the repression originally visited upon them: the violence of the stake, the chopping block, the gallows, and the shackles of a ship's darkhold. It also owes much to the violence of abstraction in the writing of history, the severity of history hat has long been the captive of the nation-state, which remains in most studies the largely unquestioned framework of analysis. This is a book about connections that have, over the centuries, usually been denied, ignored, or simply not seen, but that nonetheless profoundly shaped the history of the world in which we all of us live and die."