Orlando Patterson, John Cowles Professor of Sociology, received is B.Sc. in Economics from London University and went on to take a Ph.D. in Sociology from the London School of Economics in 1965. After faculty appointments at the London School of Economics and the University of the West Indies he moved to Harvard.
Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study was published by Harvard Press in 1982. Before fully committing himself to sociology, Patterson pursued a parallel career as a novelist and critic. He has published three novels, The Children of Sisyphus, An Absence of Ruins, and Die the Long Day.