Philip D. Curtin was Herbert Baxter Adams Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University. His books include The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census and Cross-Cultural Trade in World History.
In the 1950s, professional historians claiming to specialize in tropical Africa were no more than a handful. The teaching of world history was confined to high school courses, and even those were focused on European history, with a chapter added to account for the history of East and South Asia. The change over the ensuing decades was revolutionary. Philip D. Curtin was a leader among a new generation of historians that emerged after the Second World War.