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David Olusoga's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books David Olusoga recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of David Olusoga's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Kolyma Tales

It is estimated that some three million people died in the Soviet forced-labour camps of Kolyma, in the northeastern area of Siberia. Shalamov himself spent seventeen years there, and in these stories he vividly captures the lives of ordinary people caught up in terrible circumstances, whose hopes and plans extended to further than a few hours This new enlarged edition combines two collections previously published in the United States as Kolyma Tales and Graphite. less
Recommended by David Olusoga, and 1 others.

David OlusogaFive Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date. If you are the interviewee and would like to update your choice of books (or even just what you say about them) please email us at (Source)

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A Photographic History of the African American Struggle

From the bonds of slavery to the Civil Rights Movement, from the Deep South to the northern metropolises, from the Harlem Renaissance to the riots of South Central Los Angeles, Freedom tells of the African American struggle for equality from the first photographic records in the 19th century all the way to the present. It is organized chronologically in five sections with introductory essays and narrative captions by two noted scholars, Manning Marable and Leith Mullings. This selection of photographs, many never seen before, reveals the journey in all its complexity and nuance,... more
Recommended by David Olusoga, and 1 others.

David OlusogaWhat makes it work so well is that the early decades of photography in America overlap with the last years of slavery. (Source)

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A comprehensive study of the Eastern slave trade by an eminent British scholar

A companion volume to The Black Diaspora, this groundbreaking work tells the fascinating and horrifying story of the Islamic slave trade. Islam's Black Slaves documents a centuries-old institution that still survives, and traces the business of slavery and its repercussions from Islam's inception in the seventh century, through its history in China, India, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, and Spain, and on to Sudan and Mauritania, where, even today, slaves continue to be sold.
Recommended by David Olusoga, and 1 others.

David OlusogaI read this book when it came out and did a radio interview with the author. A few weeks later he asked, very kindly, if I wanted to be the facilitator when he discussed the book at the Hay-on-Wye book festival. Well, I’d never been to Hay-on-Wye and I also didn’t really appreciate who Ronald Segal was, and I was going to a party that weekend, so I said ‘no’. I then learnt who Ronald was and... (Source)

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Bury the Chains

This is the story of a handful of men, led by Thomas Clarkson, who defied the slave trade and ignited the first human rights movement. Beginning in 1788, a group of Abolitionists moved the cause of anti-slavery from the floor of Parliament to the homes of 300,000 people boycotting Caribbean sugar, and gave a platform to freed slaves. less
Recommended by David Olusoga, and 1 others.

David OlusogaThis book came out at the moment when many of us in Britain were busy marking the bicentenary of the end of the slave trade in 2007. In all Adam’s books he places character and biography at the very heart of his stories and this is another example of him doing that brilliantly. People are perhaps hard-wired to love story, so putting people at the absolute centre of a narrative is a very powerful... (Source)

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Juliet 'Kego Poetry4changeYou can listen to this while in Traffic...especially for residents of Las Gidi😂 In 2020: LISTEN TO, OR READ ONE BOOK PER WEEK🙏 "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African", Written By Himself (1745-1797) (Source)

David OlusogaThis is a unique and really special book, a full-length autobiography of a man who experienced every aspect of what slavery was. (Source)

Francisco BethencourtThe book showed how a former slave could be highly sensitive, emotional, articulate, with the right values. It created a totally different dynamic for the abolitionist movement. (Source)

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