Over 350 years, more than 12 million Africans were transported as slaves across the Atlantic to the New World. The scope of the trade is barely imaginable today with thousands of voyages undertaken. Enslavement and free labour allowed the accumulation of great wealth. Eric Herschthal has investigated how scientific thought was used erroneously, to justify the horrific treatment of Africans, and also mostly in error by others, as they campaigned for slavery’s abolition. And it seems there are eery links to a modern-day problem – how we are dealing with the climate crisis.
The Science of Abolition – How Slaveholders Became the Enemies of Progress
by Eric Herschthal, is published by Yale University Press
Assistant professor of history
University of Utah