In this study Professor Sheridan presents a rich and wide-ranging account of the health care of slaves in the British West Indies, from 1680-1834. He demonstrates that while Caribbean island settlements were viewed by mercantile statesmen and economists as ideal colonies, the physical and medical realities were very different. The study is based on wide research in archival materials in Great Britain, the West Indies and the United States. By steeping himself in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century sources, Professor Sheridan is able to recreate the milieu of a past era: he tells us what the slave doctors wrote and how they functioned, and he presents a storehouse of information on how and why the slaves sickened and died. By bringing together these diverse medical demographic and economic sources, Professor Sheridan casts new light on the history of slavery in the Americas.