Echo of Lions

Riboud Barbara Chase, Author, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-06407-5
Again blending fact and fiction in what she calls a ``nonfiction novel,'' Chase-Riboud ( Sally Hemings ) chronicles an important chapter of American historywith uneven success. Senge Pieh is seized in Guinea, dragged in chains to Sierra Leone, locked up and illegally shipped to Cuba, sold as a slave called Joseph Cinque and reshipped with 53 fellow Africans on the Amistad. Though he manages to commandeer the vessel, Cinque is subsequently tricked by two crew members familiar with celestial navigation, and lands not in Africa, but off Sag Harbor, Long Island. Arrested, accused of murder on the high seas and piracy, Cinque and 38 others are imprisoned for years in Connecticut, finally tried, acquitted, then re-tried in the Supreme Court (where they are defended by ex-president John Quincy Adams) and, in a landmark decision, released. Cinque finally returns to a homeland decimated by the illegal slave trade. Didactic, repetitious, more history than fiction, this book, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Cinque's rebellion, is nonetheless a moving testament to the triumph of sheer survival and the tragic limitations of victory. Literary Guild alternate. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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