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In his most recent work, Lamin Sanneh offers a novel perspective on nineteenth-century antislavery movements. Instead of the usual narratives of William Wilberforce in England or William Lloyd Garrison in America, Sanneh tells of the vital role Africans—albeit often Americanized or Anglicized Africans—played in the abolition of slavery both on their own continent and around the globe...Sanneh's narrative poses some of the broadest and most important questions in the history of global colonization and modernization. Should we agree with him that the imposition of Western liberal cultural values and social organization in Africa—when these values were promoted by Africans themselves—was unambiguously a good thing? Should the entire world therefore be made over in the image of the United States with its notion of individual rights?
— Stewart Davenport and Wiebe Boer