Praise for James Walvin's The Trader, the Owner, the Slave: In telling the stories of three men, Walvin deftly reveals how slavery, like so many aspects of empire, has been erased from the British consciousness and conscience. (One of Sathnam Sanghera's five favourite books about the British Empire.)
Praise for A World Transformed: 'Transatlantic slavery is an essential part of the histories of early modern Africa, Europe and the Americas. It played a vital role shaping the modern world, as Britain's best historian of slavery and the lives of enslaved Africans, shows us in this marvellously enthralling, judicious and authoritative survey of the global impact of the slavery machine and how it transformed the whole world, in Asia and Australia as much as in the Caribbean and West Africa. A brilliant guide to a momentous part of our shared history.'
This is a book that everyone should read. A distillation of a lifetime's research and reflection on one of the great issues in history. When we were young we were taught that the Slave Trade was something that happened in the past and ended with emancipation. What James Walvin shows is that slavery was fundamental to the rise of the West and that its consequences have widened out over time and space and still affect us all today - in politics and society, in the environment, in attitudes to race, and in cultural mentalities. With unrivalled knowledge and sureness of touch, this is a truly magisterial account of these great and tragic events that transformed and remade our world; in its pages you see slavery not just in its time but still running in the bloodstream of Western civilisation.
At a time when facts, fiction and fantasies about the glories of the colonial pasts are dominating discussions, this splendidly well-researched volume is an essential compass that brings the debates back to the realities of European colonial enslavement.
No historian on either side of the Atlantic has captured this sweeping, epic story of inhumanity, mass migration, and cultural transformation, and global empire quite like James Walvin. Walvin is to slavery and the slave trade in the Atlantic world what Dickens was to English literature in the nineteenth century. He writes like a perfectly-tuned machine that cannot be stopped; the results are lyrical, deeply informed, amd each new book takes us somewhere in our imagination. Walvin is at home in telling this tale in Jamaica, on the Gold Coast, at the quays of Liverpool, or in the tobacco fields of Maryland. A World Transformed is timely as will reach the hearts and minds of Walvin's multitudes of readers.
James Walvin draws on his deep well of knowledge to offer an ambitious and capacious account of the ways in which slavery has shaped our world. This extremely compelling and important contribution draws on the key scholarship throughout, but does so in a way that allows readers to understand connections and the big picture. It will help everyone grapple with this vital topic.
While it may be true that, in William Wells Brown's famous phrase, slavery "never can be represented," James Walvin describes with admirable brevity the contours of its massive global impact. Drawing on more than fifty years of research and reflection, he has produced a reader-friendly study of the great historical crime that was foundational to our modern world. It's ideal for students, but should be read by anyone interested in the history of the Americas, Europe, or Africa.