White Gold by Giles Milton Hodder & Stoughton $120 As a 'contemporary historian', Giles Milton is building a following among those who like their history light, without too much dull discussion about what it all means. Milton's previous books have been about adventurers. White Gold is about adventure turned sour. Milton tells the story of Thomas Pellow, captured in 1715 at the age of 11 before spending 23 years as a slave to Sultan Moulay Ismail in the Moroccan city of Merkes. Through Pellow we're given a barbaric, though amusing, view of the tyrannical sultan, who ruled Morocco from 1672 to 1727. White Gold is a little about North Africa's trade in European slaves, some seized in raids along the English coast, others captured by the 'Barbary corsairs'. Milton asserts, without proof, that one million Europeans were enslaved - other historians put the number at considerably less, certainly no more than 20,000 English. However, this book is not really about slavery. Critics have noted that 'action is what Milton is all about', and that he is 'in love with deeds, not discourse'. Fair enough.