Ending the African Slave Trade
Abrams Press, 9781468313987, 336pp.
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
List Price: 32.50*
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Despite the British being early abolitionists, a significant slave trade remained down the east coast of Africa through the mid-1800s, even after the Civil War ended it in the United States. What further undermined the British Empire was that many of the vessels involved in the trade were themselves British ships.The Royal Navy’s response was to dispatch a squadron to patrol Africa’s coast. Following what began as a simple policing action, this is the story of the four Royal Naval officers who witnessed how rampant the slave trade remained and made it their personal mission to end it. When the disruption in trade ships started to step on toes within the wealthy merchant class, the campaign was cancelled. However, in the end a coalition of naval officers and abolitionists forced the British government’s hand into eradicating the slave trade entirely.Squadron grew from historian John Broich’s passion to hunt down firsthand accounts of this untold story. Through research from archives throughout the U.K., Broich tells a tale of defiance in the face of political corruption, while delivering thrills in the tradition of high seas heroism. If it weren’t a true story, Squadron would be right at home alongside Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander series.
About the Author
John Broich holds a PhD in British History from Stanford University, and is a professor of British Empire history at Case Western Reserve University. His writing regularly appears in the Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine, and Newsweek. He is the author of Squadron: Ending the African Slave Trade. He lives in Ohio and Minnesota.
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