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Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite
Seeds Of Slavery by Joseph F. Baiden is a novel set against the early years of the slave trade during the seventeenth century. It charts the story of two men who endeavor to make their fortune as trans-Atlantic slave traders. Samuel Hastings and Albert Dross set sail to West Africa to begin their dubious business, setting in motion a series of events which have far-reaching consequences for those involved, not least the slaves themselves. Europeans may be a driving force in the slave trade but are only one link in a long chain. This is an untold story of the involvement of tribal leaders and middlemen who sell their own people for the promise of gold and guns.
Joseph Baiden writes a thoroughly compelling and original novel based on historical facts. The rich storyline is complemented by complex and vivid characters. We learn of the different African tribes, their physical and mental suffering, and the ultimate demise of many on the slave ships. This book fills in the gaps that have so often been absent in the history of slavery; that is a perspective from the very continent where people were torn from their free lives. In particular, it destroys the notion that the responsibility for the trade lay solely with white Europeans. There is much moral discussion and the human condition is laid bare from the point of view of both the slave trader and the slave. Seeds Of Slavery could easily become a classic. It is an absolutely fascinating book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.