Despite the British being early abolitionists, a significant slave trade remained in the western Indian Ocean through the mid-1800s, even after the cessation of...

Despite the British being early abolitionists, a significant slave trade remained in the western Indian Ocean through the mid-1800s, even after the cessation of most imperial slave trading activities in the Atlantic World. The British Royal Navy’s response was to dispatch a squadron to patrol East Africa’s coast. Following what began as a simple policing action, Squadron: Ending the African Slave Trade (Overlook Duckworth Press, 2017) is the story of four Royal Naval officers who witnessed and wrote about the rampant slave trading in this region, while attempting to capture slaving vessels and recover enslaved peoples. The book grew from historian John Broich’s passion to hunt down firsthand accounts of these untold stories. Through research at archives throughout the U.K., Broich tells a tale of defiance in the face of political corruption, while delivering thrills in the tradition of high seas heroism.

John Broich is the author of London: Water and the Making of a Modern British City, for which he received the WAMC/Northeast Public Radio’s President Award. He holds a PhD in British History from Stanford University, and is an associate professor at Case Western Reserve University, where he teaches about the British Empire, the British in the Middle East, and World War II.


Tyler Yank is a senior doctoral candidate in History at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). Her work explores bonded women and British Empire in the western Indian Ocean World.

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