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Five Thousand Years of Slavery

Five Thousand Years of Slavery    
Format Hardcover
Catalogue No. 978-0-88776-914-6
Pages 168
Language English only
Price $29.99
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Written by Marjorie Gann and Janet Willen.
Published by Tundra Books, 2011.


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. Thousands of children in developing countries work in factories and on farms at the expense of their freedom. More than 250,000 children were enslaved by military groups in 2009, according to the United Nations.

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.

  • To Be a Slave
  • 1. Kings, Pharaohs, and Prophets: The Ancient Near East
  • 2. Rebellion and Revenge: Ancient Greece and Rome
  • 3. Saints and Vikings: Europe in the Middle Ages
  • 4. In the Realm of the Qur'an: Slavery Under Islam
  • 5. Caravans, Canoes, and Captives: Africa
  • 6. Explorers, Labourers, Warriors, Chiefs: The Americas
  • 7. The Treacherous Triangle: South American and the Caribbean
  • 8. "The Monster is Dead!": British Abolition
  • 9. In the Land of Liberty: North America
  • 10. Civil War, Civil Rights: The United States
  • 11. Blackbirders, Coolies, and Slave Girls: Asia and the Southern Pacific
  • 12. Slavery is Not History: The Modern World
  • To Be Free
  • Time Line
  • Sources
  • Index
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.

This book is intended for ages 11+.

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This page last modified: September 13, 2011

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