The Trader, the Owner, the Slave


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A unique and dramatic book about the Atlantic slave trade.

About the Author

James Walvin is the Emeritus Professor of History at the University of York. He has published widely on slavery and the slave trade. His book Black and White won the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize and his book on the Quakers was named as a 'Notable Book of the Year' by the New York Times. Walvin's book The People's Game has long been the standard work on the history of football.


Much more than just a catalogue of horrors... James Walvin is extraordinarily alert to the contradictions within the human heart... Walvin is never blind to the horrors of slavery, nor to the responsibility of individuals for their actions. But he recognises that the world was different then and that the institution of slavery encouraged individual acts of evil that would otherwise never have occurred
*Mail on Sunday*

Taken together, their stories provide a remarkably intimate insider's perspective on the slave trade, and give us some sense of its staggering human cost

How did Britain, the 'slave trading poacher' of the 18th century, transform herself into the 'abolitionist game-keeper' of the 19th century?... James Walvin, a renowned historian of black people in Britain, finds answers to this mystery in the lives of three men who contributed, sometimes unwittingly, to the demise of a seemingly unassailable evil
*Daily Telegraph*

James Walvin here addresses the enormity of the slave trade by looking in depth at three individuals inextricably bound up in it
*London Review of Books*

A remarkable and gripping story, asking profound questions

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