Books: Bootleg Blacks

ADVENTURES or AN AFRICAN SLAVER, Being a True Account of the Life of Captain Theodore Canot, Trader in Gold, Ivory & Slaves on the Coast of Guinea: His Own Story as told in the Year 1854 to Brantz Mayer & Now Edited with an Introduction by Malcolm Cowley—A. & C. Bom ($4).

A derelict sea-captain, cadging drinks on the Baltimore wharves (according to the present editor), accosted one Brantz Mayer, swapped yarns for liquor. The captain, the accosted, the yarns, are all of a piece with garrulous South African traders who peddle reminiscence with their kitchenware. In pleasant 19th century cadences Mayer...

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