Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Young Adult Nonfiction General

Five Thousand Years of Slavery

by (author) Marjorie Gann & Janet Willen

Initial publish date
Sep 2015
General, General, Customs, Traditions, Anthropology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 7 to 12


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.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

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

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR Five Thousand Years of Slavery:
"The authors promote global awareness and issue a call to action.... This groundbreaking title brings the disturbing subject into historical and contemporary focus." - Starred Review, School Library Journal
"...readers will be drawn in by the dramatic biographies and personal testimonies ... will particularly grab young activists...." - Booklist
"...the authors weave their narrative around contemporary accounts and documented incidents, supplemented by period images or photos and frequent sidebar essays...." - Kirkus Reviews

Other titles by Marjorie Gann

Other titles by Janet Willen