Britons may very well never be slaves, but British rule certainly meant slavery for others.
Michael Jordan's book explores the personalities and the issues behind the movement to abolish first the slave trade and later the condition of slavery.
When the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was formed in 1787, the trade was at its height, with slave-grown goods flowing around the world and personal wealth accumulating for those who were involved in the trade.
Within twenty years, the abolitionists had achieved their aim.
It is a dramatic and suspenseful story, with opposition from expected and unexpected quarters and internal squabbling and falling-out.
MP William Wilberforce brought in a Private Member's Bill for the abolition of the slave trade every year for eighteen years, but it was the movement on the ground that turned public opinion.
Yet still to come was the difficult struggle to abolish the condition of slavery. "The Great Abolition Sham" reveals the passionate arguments on both sides of the abolition debate, revealing a society undergoing great change and individuals who had high ideals, but were not averse to using whatever methods they could to win their case.