Cover image for Slavery throughout history. Almanac
Slavery throughout history. Almanac
Sylvester, Theodore L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Detroit : U.X.L, [2000]

Physical Description:
xlvii, 263 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
A comprehensive examination of the institution of slavery throughout the world, from ancient Mesopotamia to the present day.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HT861 .S94 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Research on slavery, from its early roots in Mesopotamia to its occurrence in the United States, is made easy with the "Almanac." Students will have all the in-depth information they need to write reports and class assignments that analyze the era, event or topic.

Students will read about 30 men and women, some well-known and some lesser-known, who were slaves or strongly associated with the institution. Profiles include slaves, abolitionists, writers and more.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Two of a proposed three-volume set (a primary sources volume will appear later), the Almanac and Biographies share almost identical time-line and "words to know" sections. Both volumes attempt to cover the subject worldwide, from ancient times to the present, yet both suffer from generalizations, poor editing, and careless scholarship. Biography has a more specific focus; it presents "30 men and women who made an impact . . . on slavery or who were profoundly affected by it." Alphabetically arranged from Afonso I of Kongo to Denmark Vesey, it is an attractive work whose text is sprinkled with black-and-white photos and sidebars. "Further reading" at the end of each entry includes books, periodicals, and Web sites. Controversial issues, such as Sally Hemings' relationship to Thomas Jefferson, are fairly presented, and descriptions of sex in slavery, such as Haksun Kim's experience as a Japanese "comfort woman," are appropriate for sixth grade and older. However, limiting coverage to these 30 individuals is problematic. Evidently they were chosen to present as broad a picture of slavery as possible, but why St. Patrick and not Dred Scott or Roger Taney? The connection between slavery and individuals like Sacagawea and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is not always made clear, and mixing biblical and historical accounts is sure to confuse young readers further. The Almanac volume is divided into 12 chapters, most of which discuss slavery in the U.S. The more than 100 photos and maps, adequate bibliography and indexing, and information current to 1999 should have made this volume a winner. Unfortunately, its value is diminished by inconsistencies (Nebuchadrezzar is the form used in the text but Nebuchadnezzar is used in the index) and oversimplifications. There are several references to the "five `slave societies' in the history of the human race" (Ancient Greece and Rome, Brazil, Cuba, and the U.S.) but no real explanation of why these particular five are identified as such. There is no mention of slavery in Mayan, Incan, and Aztec societies. There is nothing comparable at the middle-school level that provides such a worldview on slavery, but these volumes are disappointing additions to an always-popular topic.