Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor’s The Interest: How the British Establishment Resisted the Abolition of Slavery was shortlisted for the 2021 Orwell Prize for Political Writing.

Powers of Darkness: Made by Free Hands

Michael Taylor, 21 October 2021

‘Everything is wet,’ Martin Benson recorded, after inspecting his cargo. ‘Not a single hogshead that we have yet opened, but has been wet with salt water.’ Benson came from Newport, Rhode Island, and had sailed from there with tobacco, cotton cloths and rum to the British colony of Sierra Leone. A former slave trader, Benson now worked in the service of abolition, and...

Later, Not Now: Histories of Emancipation

Christopher L. Brown, 15 July 2021

The British plantation lobby rarely receives credit for the skill with which it defended colonial slavery. For nearly half a century, slaveowners blocked emancipation schemes, neutered reform proposals...

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