Top positive review
An important biography
Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2020
The biography of Hans Jonathan is an important work that leads the reader from the Danish slave trade of the West Indies to a free life in Iceland into contemporary times that include the present-day tenets of Black Lives Matter.
The author presents a highly readable, page-turning account of Hans Jonathan, set against the backdrop of Danish government and global political times of the 1700-1800s. The author deftly weaves daily life with the political outlook of the times, gleaned from a myriad of sources. The author’s academic anthropological skillset comes into play when describing Hans Jonathan’s personal life and that of the Danish or West Indies setting. This makes the book come alive for me, and the people presented with all their truths and flaws, not just characters in a historical setting. The author posited questions when historical evidence could be interpreted in different ways which appealed to me as a process of reflection.
Hans Jonathan’s life represents a microcosm of the scenarios in historical and contemporary aspects of global slavery and racism that are still in play today. This is an important biography for our times.