Black Ivory: History of British Slavery

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9780006862925: Black Ivory: History of British Slavery

This social history looks at African slavery and the Atlantic slave trade which, in the space of 300 years, transported more than 11 million Africans to the Americas and the Caribbean - with millions more dying en route. No other slave system in world history was so regulated and determined by the question of race, or had forcibly removed so many people and scattered them across such vast distances or had such prodigious results for the slave-owning class. Using contemporary accounts, this book shows how the British maritime trade and power were transformed by the Atlantic slave trade, and how ports like Bristol, Liverpool and London grew into international trading centres on the backs of the slaves. The book describes the enslavement of Africans, the brutal conditions for the human cargoes, the slave auctions and prosperous plantocracies of the slave colonies in the West Indian islands of Barbados and Jamaica, the songs of the slaves, revolts and runaways, the effects of conversion to Christianity and growing literacy among the slaves, the abolition campaign, the problems of freedom and the legacy of racism.

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From the Back Cover:

In the space of three centuries, more than 11 million Africans were transported as slaves to the Americas – with millions more dying en route. By the time slavery was abolished in the Caribbean in 1838 and America in 1865, slaves had transformed the tastes of the Western world – for tobacco, coffee, rum, and sugar – as surely as slavery had changed forever the face of the Americas and Africa.

James Walvin shows how British maritime trade and power were transformed by the Atlantic slave trade, and describes the enslavement of Africans; the brutal conditions on the slave-ships; the slave colonies and slave owners; the revolts and runaways; the abolition campaign; the problems of freedom; and the legacy of racism.

"Everyone should read this book because it recounts, with clarity and compassion, the story of the greatest obscenity ever perpetrated by this nation: the slave trade and the plantation system that it served."
ROY PORTER, 'New Statesman and Society'

"An invaluable contribution to the understanding of slavery, bringing together recent specialist research with an imaginative use of primary material…an almost novelistic feel for narrative and sense of detail. It is also written in an exceptionally clear, vivid and readable style…'Black Ivory' takes its place alongside Roy Foster's 'Modern Ireland' and Simon Schama's 'Citizens' as representing the best in recent narrative history writing."
ADAM LIVELY, 'Times Educational Supplement'

"Strong meat, not recommended for the squeamish. Walvin writes with an evangelical zeal refreshing to find in an academic."
THOMAS PAKENHAM, 'Sunday Times'

About the Author:

James Walvin is Professor of History at the University of York. He has written widely on slave history and British social history and his recent publications include Questioning Slavery (1996), Making the Black Atlantic (2000), The Slave Trade (1999) and Britains′s Slave Empire (2000).

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Walvin, James
Published by Fontana Press (1993)
ISBN 10: 0006862926 ISBN 13: 9780006862925
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Walvin, James
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Walvin, James
Published by Fontana Press (1993)
ISBN 10: 0006862926 ISBN 13: 9780006862925
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