This new Reader draws on a range of documentary sources to show the origins, history, and realities of slavery and the slave trade. Exploring the economic, cultural, and political role of slavery, the volume shows the similarities as well as the differences in different times and places. While focusing primarily on the Americas, the volume extends to a consideration of slavery in other societies in the classical world, Africa, Asia, and the contemporary world. With over 150 selections, varying from one paragraph to several pages in length, the volume ranges widely, from international slave trade regulations and the individual records of slaveowners, to legislative debate concerning the emancipation of slaves. The volume aims to show the diversity of human experiences of slavery, and explains the causes of both the ending as well as the origins of slavery. Covering many aspects of slavery, the volume considers the ways in which slavery has been justified and attacked, the operations of slave societies, and the experiences of those living in them. Selections are drawn from a wide variety of sources, such as biblical and philosophical discussions, the writings of slaves, slaveowners, abolitionists, economists, lawyers, and historians. In addition, the volume includes selections from many leading historians and economists studying slavery and emancipation.