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

By Adam Hochschild. <I>Houghton Mifflin</I>. $26.95.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


In his latest book, Adam Hochschild — a founding editor of Mother Jones — chronicles the unlikely success of the British antislavery movement. In just 50 years a band of idealists and iconoclasts managed to shut down an institution that had fueled the expansion of the British Empire for nearly three centuries. As detailed in an excerpt published in Mother Jones (“Against All Odds,” January/February 2004), they did it by forging many of the tools of modern activism, from newsletters to petitions to consumer boycotts. Bury the Chains’ protagonists prevailed by doing what even the most media-savvy modern organizer must do to win — stirring public passion against an injustice, no matter how deeply ingrained.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate