A Short History of Slavery
Published to coincide with and celebrate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the English Atlantic slave trade in 1807, this is the kind of concise and readable history which could only have been produced by an historian who is completely in command of his subject. Walvin surveys the history of slavery from classical times to the present day with a timely reminder in his final chapter that London-based Anti-Slavery International, the modern inheritor of the Anti-Slavery Society, founded in 1839, is as busy today as it ever was, campaigning against slavery all over the world. The book contextualises the Atlantic trade and offers a cogent explanation for the apparently sudden change of heart in England which transformed this country from being a world leader in the trade to pioneering its abolition all over the Empire. It also looks at social and working conditions in slave communities.
A readable and accessible introduction to a complex subject, whose barbarity is matched only by the huge legacy it has left, nothing less, one might argue, than the western capitalist economic system which at least one academic has held responsible for the end of history. Discuss!