Prophet against Slavery

Prophet against Slavery:Benjamin Lay, A Graphic Novel

  • Paperback

The revolutionary life of an eighteenth-century dwarf activist who was among the first to fight against slavery and animal cruelty

Prophet against Slavery is an action-packed chronicle of a remarkable and radical individual. It is based on the award-winning biography by Marcus Rediker, which prompted the Quaker community that once disowned Lay to embrace him again after 280 years. Graphic novelist David Lester brings the full scope of Lay's activism and ideas to life.

Born in 1682 to a humble Quaker family in Essex, England, Lay was a forceful and prescient visionary. Understanding the fundamental evil that slavery represented, he employed guerrilla theatre tactics and direct action to shame slave owners and traders. The prejudice Lay suffered as a dwarf and a hunchback, as well as his devout faith, informed his passion for human and animal liberation. Exhibiting stamina, fortitude, and integrity in the face of the cruelties practiced against his 'fellow creatures', he was frequently a solitary voice speaking truth to power.

Lester's beautiful imagery and storytelling, accompanied by afterwords from Rediker and Paul Buhle, capture the radicalism, the humour, and the humanity of this uncannily modern figure. A testament to the impact each of us can make, Prophet against Slavery brings Lay’' prophetic vision to a new generation of young activists who today echo his call of 300 years ago: 'No justice, no peace!'


  • Praise for The Fearless Benjamin Lay:

    Admirers of Marcus Rediker’s splendid The Slave Ship will be delighted by this historian’s new book. Sailor, pioneer of guerrilla theater, and a man who would stop at nothing to make his fellow human beings share his passionate outrage against slavery, Benjamin Lay has long needed a modern biographer worthy of him, and now he has one.

    Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost
  • Praise for The Fearless Benjamin Lay:

    A modern biography of the radical abolitionist Benjamin Lay has long been overdue. With the sure hand of an eminent historian of the disfranchised, Marcus Rediker has brought to life the wide-ranging activism of this extraordinary Quaker, vegetarian dwarf in a richly crafted book. In fully recovering Lay’s revolutionary abolitionist vision, Rediker reveals its ongoing significance for our world.

    Manisha Sinha, author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition
  • Praise for The Fearless Benjamin Lay:

    The unswerving eighteenth-century abolitionist Benjamin Lay, maligned when not ignored for many generations, has at last found his sympathetic biographer. In this captivating must-read book, Marcus Rediker shows that Lay’s disfigured body contained a mind of steel and a heart overflowing with compassion for victims of the Atlantic slave trade. Lay’s place in the annals of American reform is now secure.

    Gary Nash, author of Warner Mifflin: Unflinching Quaker Abolitionist