When they were too impoverished to raise their families, ancient Sumerians sold their children into bondage. Slave women in Rome faced never-ending household drudgery. The ninth-century Zanj were transported from East Africa to work the salt marshes of Iraq. Cotton pickers worked under terrible duress in the American South.
Ancient history? Tragically, no. In our time, slavery wears many faces. James Kofi Annan's parents in Ghana sold him because they could not feed him. Beatrice Fernando had to work almost around the clock in Lebanon. Julia Gabriel was trafficked from Arizona to the cucumber fields of South Carolina.
Five Thousand Years of Slavery provides the suspense and emotional engagement of a great novel. It is an excellent resource with its comprehensive historical narrative, firsthand accounts, maps, archival photos, paintings and posters, an index, and suggestions for further reading. Much more than a reference work, it is a brilliant exploration of the worst - and the best - in human society.
MARJORIE GANN, an educator for thirty years, has written language arts curricula, review articles on children's literature, and sat on the jury for the Canadian Jewish Book Awards. She lives in Toronto with her husband and has two grown children.
JANET WILLEN has been a writer and editor for more than thirty years, working on publications ranging from remedial writing curricula to articles on health and safety. She holds a master's degree in political philosophy from the New School for Social Research. Janet Willen lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband
“.... the authors weave their narrative around contemporary accounts and documented incidents, supplemented by period images or photos and frequent sidebar essays .... For timeliness, international focus and, particularly, accuracy, this leaves Richard Watkins’ Slavery: Bondage Throughout History (2001) in the dust ....” - Kirkus Reviews
“This well-researched global survey introduces readers to slavery practices, customs, suffering, uprisings, and revolts as well as antislavery efforts from ancient Greece and Rome to today’s world .... Informative documentary photos and factually rich sidebars enhance the text .... This groundbreaking title brings the disturbing subject into historical and contemporary focus.” - Starred Review, School Library Journal
“Encyclopedic in scope and minutely detailed, this comprehensive volume takes on the history of slavery across the globe .... readers will be drawn in by the dramatic biographies and personal testimonies, illustrated with archival photos and paintings, that tell of racism and savage brutality, the roles of war and poverty, and also of incredible courage and resistance.” - Booklist
“Five Thousand Years of Slavery is a balanced masterpiece of information and motivational text. This in-dept text is rich yet reads like a story .... The authors are to be complimented both for their attention to detail and tone. This book handles the controversial topic of slavery with honesty .... this text is an invaluable resource .... [and] would be well-suited for any project in the Social Sciences and History curriculum.” - Resource Links