It is perhaps the paradoxical nature of reality that a song by a slave captain transforms into a metaphor for liberation and on which a book comes out of the press at a time of ‘everywhere war’.
What Intervention has done here is to take and publish the superb blurb of the book in question. The blurb script cannot be improved upon. The book is coming out of the University of California Press and the title is: Amazing Grace – A Cultural History of the Beloved Hymn
About the Book
Sung in moments of personal isolation or on state occasions watched by millions, “Amazing Grace” has become an unparalleled anthem for humankind. How did a simple Christian hymn, written in a remote English vicarage in 1772, come to hold such sway over millions in all corners of the modern world? With this short, engaging cultural history, James Walvin offers an explanation.
The greatest paradox is that the author of “Amazing Grace,” John Newton, was a former Liverpool slave captain. Walvin follows the song across the Atlantic to track how it became part of the cause for abolition and galvanized decades of movements and trends in American history and popular culture. By the end of the twentieth century, “Amazing Grace” was performed in Soweto and Vanuatu, by political dissidents in China, and by Kikuyu women in Kenya. No other song has acquired such global resonance as “Amazing Grace,” and its fascinating history is well worth knowing.
A fascinating journey through the history of “Amazing Grace,” one of the transatlantic world’s most popular hymns and a powerful anthem for humanity.
About the Author
James Walvin is a Professor of History Emeritus at the University of York. He has published widely on slavery and modern social history. His most recent book is A World Transformed: Slavery in the Americas and the Origins of Global Power.