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Slavery and the Birth of an African City: Lagos, 1760-1900 Hardcover – September 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0253348845 ISBN-10: 0253348846

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 473 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253348846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253348845
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,534,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


.,.""[A] valuable contribution...brilliantly organized, and Mann's style makes the reading enjoyable."" -- - H-Atlantic ""(June, 2008)""

From the Publisher

"Kristin Mann has been stimulating us with fine articles on this subject for years. . . . This is a major contribution to African history, to slave studies, and to urban history." --Martin Klein

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Makkabee on November 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my recent studies I've read several books about the impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade on various West African Societies. This is the best of them. It's quite comprehensive, dealing not only with how the slave trade turned Lagos from a minor settlement to a major West African trade center, but how the city managed to not only survive but thrive after the slave trade ended.

The book achieves balance, not an easy thing to do when talking about a subject as emotionally charged as the mass-kidnapping of human beings. It examines both European and African complicity in the trade, looks at how coastal trading elites benefited from the system and, and examines the good intentions and moral compromises that characterized early British colonialism in West Africa.

The text is strong both in its economic analysis of how Lagos and its hinterland shifted from a slave-exporting economy to one built around agricultural exports and the internal use of unfree labor, and in its legal analysis of how the elites, both black and white, controlled this labor in the face of British law which declared slavery illegal. Without assuming a hectoring tone the book demonstrates very clearly how the British failed to properly apply their anti-slavery principles in the early years of their rule over Lagos.

For any student of African history or colonialism, this is a worthwhile text. Lagos is one of the world's major cities and Nigeria one of the most important nations in the developing world, and this book tells a big chunk of the story of how that city and the country of which it is the metropolis became what they are today.
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