Jennifer Reese
January 10, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Bury the Chains

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Adam Hochschild
publisher
Houghton Mifflin
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it an A

For his superb account of the British antislavery movement of the late 18th century, Adam Hochschild draws from poetry, songs, pamphlets, diaries, and best-selling autobiographies. But he never lets exhaustive research clutter up a witty, wonderfully readable narrative. In describing the first grassroots human rights campaign, he focuses on a handful of memorable figures, like the towering redheaded Thomas Clarkson (Coleridge called him a ”moral Steam-Engine”). He’s equally attuned to exactly what was at stake: His descriptions of West Indian slavery in Bury the Chains will make you want to put down the book and shut your eyes in horror.

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