Initially I was under the impression that this book is a historical novel, so I wasted first 20 pages waiting for the novel to start thinking I am just reading some extremely long prologue. Once I realised it was actually historical non fiction I started really enjoying it. Milton unearthenes some little known part of world history and delivers it to us in a very exciting form. Who does not like stories about pirates and Moroccan sultans? Here definitely crueler than in Disney films. And the moral is: slavery is bad and all humans are equally capable of inhuman behaviour. It is actually so widespread that I am not sure why it is called 'inhuman' as I can't think of any other species that engages in such behaviour.
Here is some English logic for you:
When then Englishmen were enslaved by the 'Moors' it was because the Moors were 'beasts', as only 'beasts' could do something so barbaric. Now, when the English did the same Africans around the same time, that was ok because Africans were beasts, so there wa no contraindication to enslaving them. And that's how the English managed to sleep with a clear conscience.
I particularly enjoyed this episode recounted by Milton where an English ship with a cargo of Africans destined for slavery in North America gets captured by Moroccans and the whole crew gets sent to slavery in Morocco. And isn't it ironic.. don't you think?
All in all, good book, people. You can read it in two evenings. Sometimes I found Miles' style a little too pompous for my liking. Right now I am reading „The Professor and the Madman” and I am enjoying Simon Winchester's style a lot more because he's got jokes. Though on the other hand when you write about slavery it is probably not ok to joke.