The Man Who Stole Himself Author : Gisli Palsson Publisher : University of Chicago Press Total Pages : 288 Release : 2016-09-16 ISBN 10 : 9780226313283 ISBN 13 : 022631328X Language : EN, FR, DE, ES & NL GET BOOK The Man Who Stole Himself Book Description: Small, insular Iceland is generally thought to be the whitest place on earth. But in this accessible biography, Gisli Palsson reveals the improbable story behind the rumors that a free black man lived and raised a family there in the early nineteenth century. Palsson s subject is the self-evidently unique Hans Jonathan: brought as a slave from St. Croix to Denmark, he fought for Denmark in the 1801 Battle of Copenhagen, declared himself free, went on trial, was found guilty, and ran away, never to be heard of in Denmark for nearly the next 200 years. Only recently did it come to light that he was the long-rumored black Icelander. Today, Hans Jonathan has become something of icon in Iceland, claimed as a proud and daring ancestor both there and among his descendants in America. Hans Jonathan s story intertwines a portrait of the Danish slave trade, legal arguments over slavery, an adventure tale about his escape and travels, a social portrait of where he wound up, and meditations on the nature of biography and geneaology. His story weaves together themes of imperial dreams, colonialism, human rights, and globalizationall in a single eventful life."