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James Walvin needs no introduction to students of slavery since, over the last thirty years, he has been one of the most prolific writers on the history of American slavery among the academic fraternity on both sides of the Atlantic.
This is a very puzzling book. To judge by its title and some of its contents, its subject is the attempt to create a world order on the basis of two competing principles, adumbrated respectively in the West and in Russia. Those two principles are summed up in the figures of Montesquieu and Marx, whose ideas on social order are briefly set out in the first two chapters.