Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition – Robert W. Harms (Editor), Bernard K. Freamon (Editor), David W. Blight (Editor)

Because I plan to use this book to help construct a lecture on the role of slavery in global history, I was a bit disappointed that more of the essays did not explicitly place Indian Ocean slavery in a global context. What the essays did do is prove the vibrancy and variance of slavery in the world of the Indian Ocean, moving away from a focus on transatlantic slavery as the sole model of slavery. For those looking to use this book in a global context, as I am, Matthew S. Hopper’s “Slaves of One Master: Globalization and the African Diaspora in Arabia in the Age of Empire” provides a wonderful exploration of how transatlantic trade effected slavery and trade in the Indian Ocean. Working with transatlantic texts and the essays in this volume, it is also possible to draw comparisons with transatlantic slavery even though these comparisons are not openly discussed in the text. Though it doesn’t meet my needs exactly, I think it’s still a valuable work on a slave trade that doesn’t receive the attention it necessarily warrants, that also unveils a complex world of freedom and bondage.

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