2005 National Book Awards Finalist

Adam Hochschild

Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves

Houghton Mifflin

Photo credit: Mikhail Lemkhin

Judges' Citation

With stylish prose and complete command of the scholarship, Adam Hochschild tells the remarkable story of a small group of idealists who undertook the impossible task of abolishing slavery in the 18th century British Empire, and succeeded. This is popular history at its best, dramatic, colorful, and wise. It shows how courageous slaves and shrewd political activists overturned not just a way of life, but a way of thinking, igniting a political movement that is with us today in the worldwide struggle for human rights.

about the book

A thrilling account of the first grass-roots human rights campaign, which freed hundreds of thousands of slaves around the world.

About the Author

Among Adam Hochschild’s award-winning books are King Leopold’s Ghost, The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin, The Mirror at Midnight: A South African Journey, and Half The Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son. A co-founder of Mother Jones, he has also written for The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and The Nation. He teaches writing at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.