Schama is an experienced documentary film-maker; he and his team know how to get the best out of the medium. In this drama-documentary, they build on earlier successes to create a very informative, moving, shocking and engaging history of an aspect of American history which still resonates today.
Unless read by a vivid, creative imagination, scholarly history can remain just that - scholarly words on the page; drama documentary breathes life into it, the words rise from the page and become what they always were, the lives of real people. Schama has always had a flair for imbuing history with vividness and breathing life into stuffy history without an excess of voyeuristic, gratuitous drama.
This creates the slavery industry before our eyes; history becomes "now" and reverberates. One can ask little more from a historian.