Industrial Slavery in the Old South

Industrial Slavery in the Old South

3.75 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Product details

  • Hardback | 334 pages
  • 147.32 x 210.82 x 27.94mm | 272.15g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 18ill.
  • 0195001133
  • 9780195001136

Review Text

A brilliant study of what at first glance would seem a marginal topic - the one-twentieth of the slave population owned or hired to work in factories, on construction, at mining, lumbering, transportation, in the Old South. The book begins with a lucid and concise characterization of the slave economy as a whole, and without bogging down in ad hominem discussions Starobin (a young University of Wisconsin historian) corrects the recent overemphasis on the dysfunctional aspects of slave labor. Examining industrial slavery as a special case of early industrial labor, as well as a subvariety of American slavery, he describes working and living conditions, forms of discipline and resistance, and regional and temporal variations. The complexities of race relations emerge clearly, both on the level of integrated work forces and of arguments within the Old South's ruling elite about how best to stabilize and utilize slave and free labor in the process of industrialization - a process whose antebellum extent and purposeful development is often underestimated. The section on the politics of industrial slavery argues that slave-based industrialization made a direct contribution to the Civil War. The section on the overall economics of industrial slavery - its efficiency, profitability, competitive advantages, etc. - exhibits exceptional delicacy of method at no sacrifice of clarity or balance. A rich range of primary sources is exploited with assurance. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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4 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1)
4 25% (1)
3 50% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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