Ouidah and Dahomey, like Elmina and Asante, represent some of the most recognizable names of West African ports and states during the transatlantic slave trade. Robin Law's new work builds upon a historiographical tradition that explores Ouidah's role, especially after the Dahomean conquest, in that trade. While much of the literature on Dahomey and the Asante stresses the role of the state in controlling and profiting from exchange, Law successfully changes this perspective by focusing upon the "evolution of the merchant community" (p. 3). As Law convincingly shows, Ouidah's merchant community proved successful in gaining some degree of economic freedom from the Dahomean political structure. Over time, a system developed at Ouidah where both the Dahomean state and the local transatlantic merchant community could profit from the slave trade and, later, legitimate trade. In laying the foundations for a social history of Ouidah, Law places it within its larger Atlantic context by examining how internal and external factors influenced its development.