Edited collections can sometimes disappoint as little more than a rather disparate set of specialist articles. One of the great strengths of this book is that it is much more than a sum of its parts. The excellent essays on specific regions are framed by an extended introduction and a useful bibliographic essay covering the field as a whole. The introduction effectively delineates the ways in which emancipation was a highly gendered process and stands in its own right as a key intervention into the study of slavery and emancipation in comparative perspective.

Much recent scholarship on the Atlantic world has focused on its Anglophone dimension; this book begins to do justice to the diversity of that world by including essays on Britain’s Cape Colony and French West Africa; on islands of the French, British, and Spanish Caribbean; and on the United States...

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