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CompleteMartialArts.com - White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam's One Million White Slaves

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Manufacturer: Picador
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 306.3620964
EAN: 9780312425296
ISBN: 0312425295
Label: Picador
Manufacturer: Picador
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 336
Publication Date: 2006-06-13
Publisher: Picador
Release Date: 2006-06-13
Studio: Picador

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Editorial Reviews:

In the summer of 1716, a Cornish cabin boy named Thomas Pellow and fifty-one of his comrades were captured at sea by Barbary corsairs. Their captors--Ali Hakem and his network of Islamic slave traders--had declared war on the whole of Christendom. Pellow and his shipmates were bought by the tyrannical sultan of Morocco. Drawn from the unpublished letters and manuscripts of Pellow and survivors like him, White Gold is a fascinating glimpse at a time long forgotten by history.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: spectacular
Comment: The story of a million European slaves in north Africa, as recently as two centuries back, is compulsory reading to understand the muslem rulers' traditional mindset, petty and cruel, as is the Bible for those wishing to understand today's Middle East. It took Wilberforce 20 years in parliament, based on his christian conscience, to put an end to the slave trade in the British Empire, including that of North Africa. It is reassuring that good overcomes evil.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: White slaves, muslim cruelty
Comment: It is obviously an important story and much needed of getting out there to the general reader. However the book relies too much on the almost day by day routine and hardships suffered by Thomas Pellow, the main character. The book would be excellent if it only had 100 odd pages. But after a while it's just more of the same arrogance and torture inflicted by that muslim buffoon on his victims.

I think the author could well have summarized the story's main ideas and expanded a little on the sociological background of the times, the context and so forth. So much blood and guts spilled over the pages gives if a feel of exaggeration, and this story is no joke. It deserves a much serious treatment.

Each nation pays for its own sins, just like any person. Sic transit muslim nations. Long live England.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: What a great read!
Comment: I have read all of Giles Milton's books...and he has never failed to surprise and educate me, for which I am very grateful. Who knew about the white slaves of Africa? Who knew that Barbary pirates kidnapped village populations wholesale along England's south coast? For whatever reasons, it is not something taught in schools, but it is essential knowledge if we are ever to understand the history between Islam and the West. Yet it is not in the grand sweep that Giles Milton captures the imagination, it is the tragic details that resonate. There by the grace of God, go we.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Non fiction better than fiction
Comment: This book opened my eyes to a world I knew nothing about. Milton, the author, writes non-fiction in way that is exciting. I couldn't wait to turn the next page. This is the story of Thomas Pellow, an English boy, who was captured at age 11 and survived, and returned to England some 20+ years later, to tell his story. It's a tremendous insight of two cultures meeting and clashing. Having visited Morocco, helped me get a better sense of the whole adventure.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Entertaining and Informative Story of A Forgotten Tragedy
Comment: Milton uses the story of Thomas Pellow, a cabin boy enslaved by Muslims at age 12 and finally returning to Cornwall 23 years later, as a framework overview of the Muslim slave trade - which preyed on European Christians as far away as the coasts of Iceland and Cornwall.

It's an exciting read, a proverbial 'page turner', and a perfect blend of story telling and history. Milton masterfully interweaves backstory and general history with Pellow's saga. I would hate to use another cliche...but I really couldn't put it down!

Its a shame the WP post reviewer uses it as excuse to vent his political views, and browbeat us with nonsense about 'Orientalism', I would highly recommend this book as an introduction to an all but forgotten part of our history (Yes Alsan, us, as in European Christians). I imagine like Aslan are afraid of this book because the indisputable facts shatter their victim status, and takes away a 'tool' by which to guilt-trip Europeans and Americans. After all if we were 'victims' of slavery, all the sudden 'imperialism' and 'white privilege' lose their sting.

A few examples of Aslan's bias:

"in which his 11-year-old self patiently endures month after month of horrific torture, administered by the crown prince himself, with whom Pellow remarkably engages in a quasi-theological debate (in Arabic or English, one can't tell which) before finally submitting to Islam -- is so absurd that the reader is stunned to find Milton swallowing the tale whole."

Milton specifically points out that Pellow was an exceptionally bright lad in school - and back in the 17th/18th century someone educated his age (11) would have had a firm grasp of theology ("college" students usually graduated at age 18 or so) in an age where a century later 12 year old future Admiral Farragut would skipper a ship around cape horn its not inconceivable a boy might know a thing or two about theology. It is also documented and corroborated the Pellow rose to high service at young age because of his intelligence. Yet Aslan sneers it's 'absurd' but offers no reason why. Nor does he offer any reason why corroborated stories of Ismail's evil and brutality should not be accepted. He apparently wants us to feel 'wrong' for believing that a man who practiced mass slavery and perfectly willing to murder half brothers (a common occurrence in Muslim royal families) could be brutal.

"That White Gold merely regurgitates Pellow's "memoirs" is even more troubling because Milton enthusiastically adopts the outmoded vocabulary of the era, repeatedly referring in his book to "Christian" slaves and even "Christian" vessels being captured by "Muslim" pirates and sold to "Muslim" masters"

Well Aslan they would only enslave Christians and non Muslims, defined themselves as Muslim and the Koran specifically allowed slavery, where at the same time, anti-slavery movements were taking root in Christendom, if I am 'allowed' to use that 'dated' term.

Why the Washington Post chose this guy to review the book remains a mystery - but they clearly wanted a negative review.

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