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Slavery in the Arab World Paperback – April 21, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: New Amsterdam Books; Reprint edition (April 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561310239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561310234
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Excellent.....A must read if you want to understand slavery.
roseroberta
Slavery In The Arab World is an exceptional book that discusses the Arab slave trade from the time of antiqity to well in to modern times.
A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr.
The book though is best when it examines the slow and still unfinished process to get rid of slavery.
Jacques COULARDEAU

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jedidiah Palosaari VINE VOICE on August 11, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book had some very helpful information, and very surprising information, which I was delighted to learn. Unfortunately, I didn't learn as much as I would have liked because of the writing style.

This is honestly in part due to translation, which Gordon can't be blamed for. There were parts of the book where one could tell that there was an obvious translation error from the French, where the word or phrase wasn't used quite the correct way it is supposed to be used in English. However, numerous times Gordon also contradicts his own thoughts, making for confusing reading. As he himself admits, much of the research itself is contradictory, but he could have done a better job of weeding through the research, and his editor a better job of clearing up contradictions before publication.

I still recommend this, because it is such important information, and there is so little out there. This book should be seen as important first broadside in understanding an important part of our history. There was so much information here that I had never before known. I had no idea the slave trade continued across Sahara until 1920's, and slavery still allowed in the Middle East until 1970's. Gordon gives amazing details on the horrible atrocities committed under this institution, like emasculation of children. His scholarship is quite good- he rightly faults past researchers who were so against slavery that they made the problem bigger than it was. So, for instance, Gordon shows how the emasculation death rate of 99% is exaggerated by far, it being closer to only a 90% death rate.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Alexander on June 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Gordon murray has produced a great pioneeing scholarly work into a known but least talked about aspect in history. And that is the arab slave trade in africa. he shows how in africa like other places throughout the world there was already a established slave system, that was similar to european serfdom and other forms of servitude practice throughout the world. he also shows how slavery was embedded in the arab world before islam. and how islam became the rationale for slavery and the basic attitudes of arabs towards africans. some good but most negative. the eastern slave trade was mainly dominated by arabs and other asians (persians, turks, east indians) but the africans from the interior as well as the swahillis along the coast played very signifigant roles in this trade. he also shows how there was diaspora of africans throughout the arab world. this book is excellent for anybody who is interested in the eastern slave trade. i highly recommend it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "yeazel" on April 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Murray Gordon's expressed purpose in writing Slavery in the Arab World was to raise awareness about an issue which has been neglected in academia in recent years: the vast arab slave trade, which for millenia dwarfed any other slave operations in the world. the book contrasts arab slavery, which granted some minimal rights to its slaves, to european slavery, which, although it lasted briefly compared to arab slavery, was arguably harsher in its treatment of slaves. the book traces the history of slavery from the dawn of islam, to the 1960's, when it was abolished in the gulf states, noting that slavery still persists in some african nations. it is fairly easy to read, and contians a great deal of information on the topic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mordechai on January 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
It's fascinating when one comes across history that is not often told, or is ignored. This thouroughly depressing book manages to cover the scope, immense timespan and breadth of the arab slave trade around the world in antiquity. It also doesn't shirk from dealing with the uncomfortable truths of the involvement of Africans in trading each other, or the religious basis for the slave trade as conducted by the arabs. The opening chapter adequately tackles the reasons the world doesn't seem to want to tackle the injustice of more than a thousand years of arabs trading black slaves.

As someone who has family from the slave catchment areas in East Africa, it was interesting to read the accounts and reports of the events my grandfather would describe in his tales.

A thoroughly good read... and a much needed education for all those who thought the european trans-atlantic slave trade was the worst there ever was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr. on February 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Slavery In The Arab World is an exceptional book that discusses the Arab slave trade from the time of antiqity to well in to modern times.

While the Islamic slave trade was generally less severe compared to that of Christendom, it still had its savage moments. This came mostly when slaves were captured and then transported across the Sahara Desert. Many died from the intense heat of the day and then the bitter cold of the night. That, and the lack of water the slave dealers refused to provide (Or Underestimated For The Long Journey) made the attrition rate quite high. However, once they reached their destinations, the captives were treated fairly well. Too, their chances of being manummited were much higher whilst with Arabs. Contast this with the Antebellum South where an African slave was a slave until the day he/she died and you will see how different things were with the Arabs.

This book has a chapter that discusses how slaves became warriors and men in positions of power, often being looked to to settle disputes among rival houses. Slaves were for the most part domiciled in the home where they were put to use by both men and women. Slave-girls were used as concubines for the pleasure of men while slave men were used for various work purposes in and around the Arab household. Many male slaves were put to work in mines--especially salt mines (See The Chapter On The Revolts), rarely were slaves (As Was The Case In The Americas) beaten and brutalized.

I don't remember reading anywhere in this book about infanticide. One Three-Star reviewer (W. Mailloux) complained about infanticide being alluded to but as anyone who studies religion will tell you, infanticide is expressly forbidden by Christianity and Islam.
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