Slavery is as old as the world itself and Professor Jeremy Black shows that its history is one that is central to our understanding of the modern world. Starting in the ancient world when the Greeks defined slavery, he covers the uses of slavery in the New World, leading to the central section of the book on the triangular slave trade between West Africa, Britain and America. He looks at how this moment in history consolidated the British Empire and made America. He also charts the long fight to abolish the trade in the 19th century. However, as Black points out -- slavery has not been completely abolished today and how coerced labour can be found closer to home than is comfortable.

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