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This chapter sets out the context of the book. Following rich historiographical discussion on African and global economic history, the literature exploring the significant role consumer demand for Indian textiles in West Africa has played in the world, including the Atlantic slave-based economy in the eighteenth century, is discussed. The chapter offers an overview of the dynamic role of Indian textiles in connecting South Asia with different parts of the world, especially with West Africa, before 1800, and introduces the perspective of a south-south economic history. It also discusses the main sources used in this book and ends with a plan of the book.