The thesis, or central argument of a book, is what the author is trying to prove. In order to identify the thesis of the book “the Slave Ship”, its specific content ought to be firstly summarized and reviewed. In painstaking details and with comprehensive research, author of the Slave Ship Marcus Rediker writes about the Atlantic Slave Trade that mainly took place in the triangular trade route from Europe to West Africa, then to the “New World”, the Americas during the 16th, 17th, and 18th century. The specific details of the slave trade are described, including the process of the capture, the transport of the slaves, the relationships between each group of people (or person) on a slave ship, the different forms of rebellions of the captives, and the actual exchange in commodities. All of these give the readers clear insights of what happened throughout those parts of history. However, the author did not stop at the slave trade itself, but expanded the content of the book to the influence of the slave trade, especially that to the New World. This includes the ways the African cultures that came with the enslaved make changed to the American culture, or even more complex and deep problems such as “how did the slave trade help develop the form of classes and races?” From the summary of the main content of the book and my understanding of it, a thesis statement can be developed: The Atlantic Slave Trade, represented by the slave ship, affected both the enslaved Africans and the ones trading them, to a great extent. Almost all contents of the book has the purpose of convincing the reader of this thesis in one way or another. In summary, the author achieves this in the several ways which I will analyze in the following paragraphs, answering the question “How does Rediker develop his thesis?” The author intentionally uses a large number of “true stories” involving specific personnels throughout the book. This has several functions and purposes. The first one is to support the point with descriptively stated facts, in the specific part of the book, that the author is trying to make . A descriptive writing is much easier to conceive and accept than pure historical ones. For example, when the author is writing about the violence carried out by the sailors to the slaves on the ships (P239), he described the actions and behaviors of Captain Luke Collingwood and his crew of a slave ship named “Zong”. Captain Collingwood order the murder of sixty African Slaves and seven crew members. They were thrown overboard because an “unnatural” death would be insured while a natural death would not. Clearly, neither the ship nor its captain had much historical significance, but they are definitely sufficient enough to show and represent the horrible treatments performed on the enslaved. Examples like this one are repeated throughout the entire book. The second purpose is to make readers emotionally involved and attached to a certain historical incident, which then encourages the readers to agree to what the author is trying to prove. This technique is in fact very similar with a technique used widely in literature writings —— pathos, a quality that evokes pity or sadness. Yet it is clearly also applicable in historical writings. Examples of this mainly concentrates, but is not limited to the first Chapter. The dramas, as the author describes them, are written in highly detailed and vivid type of language. For example, when telling the story of “Sarah” (P19), the author presented astonishingly detailed information about this African women, including her dance, the source of her name, and most importantly her involvement in the insurrection. Men and women with sympathy and righteousness would very much likely to feel sad when reading these tragedies, thus agreeing to the author’s point (thesis): enslaved Africans are negatively affected to a great extent. Moreover, a huge part, if not most, of the Slave Ship is directly used to describe, present, and explain the physical suffrage and mistreatment enacted upon the enslaved Africans. It is safe to assume that it is the author’s intention to strongly emphasize this part of the Atlantic Slave Trade to the readers. What could be the reasons of this? Because it fits the thesis stated previously —— physical damage is a serious kind of affect to the enslaved. It is difficult to believe, before reading what is written in this book, that the enslaved had been through violence and torture to such an extent. According to the author, the slaves are packed in the lower deck of the ship by the number of hundreds, and almost right beside each other. However, the horrible environments and living conditions seem almost insignificant compared to the violence they received on a daily basis. They would be beaten, flogged, and raped (female). They also had the danger of being directly murdered. The mistreatments to the enslaved did not stop at flogging or starvation. The worst for them was the absence of freedom and homeland. To fight against this, the enslaved took various ways of resistance, including insurrection, fast, and even suicide. On the other hand, for the other part of the thesis statement, the impact of the other people and societies involved in the Atlantic Slave Trade is also illustrated. In the Slave Ship, the author Marcus Rediker did not only focus on the African slaves, but also elaborated on the ones capturing, transporting, and trading them. After all, these people were the played the leading role in the Atlantic Slave Trade and therefore created a great impact on the development and change of the New World. First of all, the author explained the condition of the captain and the crew on slave ships. The entire ship is under harsh regulation and strict hierarchy. The captain, without doubt, has the highest power over other people on the ship and has makes almost all significant decisions. With similar patterns, the division of labor on the ship forms a strict hierarchy among other people on the ship: mates, doctors, carpenters, officers, seamen, and of course, the slaves. In fact, this is used by the author to convey the formation of class with respect to race. The author makes a convincing case that the slave trade actually helped to create the very notion of “white people” and “black people”. Why did racism form such that the black people were viewed as degrading and inferior? The reason lies within the relationship between the white crew members and the black slaves. It was obvious that the crew had much more power over the slaves, who had little power to resist. Therefore, a prototype of “class” has formed on the ship, for there is a dominating, higher class and an inferior, lower class. Yet how should one class differ from another? Since skin color was their major difference, black and white became the representation of one’s class. Although both the crew and the slaves themselves came from different places and countries in either Europe and Africa, those differences became insignificant on the ship, when compared to skin color. No matter French, English, Spanish, or Italian, they were all classified as white just as all the slaves are classified as black. When the slaves were later sold to the Americas, the diversity in skin color remained. The black were still doing the most difficult and degrading physical labor, while most white people had better condition. The racism that formed with it appeared in several different aspects: culture, law, division of labor, treatments, and so on.