Suzanne Mierswas, at the time this book was published, Direction of the African Studies Program and professor of history at Ohio University, and the author of Britain and the Ending of the Slave Trade (1975). Igor Kopytoff was then associate professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, and is the author of numerous articles concerning African peoples, particularly those of Zaire.
"This is a collection of original studies (by eleven historians, five anthropologists, and two sociologists) analyzing forms of servitude that have existed among the inhabitants of relatively small geographical areas in widespread parts of Africa. The countries included are Nigeria, Niger, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cameroon, Senegal, Benin, Botswana, Angola, Zaire, Mozambique, and Tanzania. The value of these articles, many of which are detailed community studies dealing with much more than slavery, is greatly increased by the editors' brilliant introductory essay, which summarizes the findings of the contributors. In many cases the periods studied are late (the nineteenth and even the twentieth centuries), but some of the authors extend their coverage back to the earliest European contacts. Most of the contributions are based upon taped interviews and unpublished documents as well as printed sources, and all contain useful maps, bibliographies, and glossaries of African terms."-The Journal of Southern History|"This excellent work consists of 16 essays which view internal or indigenous African slavery from a variety of perspectives. . . . A significant breakthrough in our understanding of a crucial yet curiously neglected subject. Essential reading for all Africanists and a very important acquisition for all academic libraries."-History