Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management

Available

Product Details

Price
$36.00
Publisher
Harvard University Press
Publish Date
August 27, 2018
Pages
312
Dimensions
6.1 X 1.2 X 9.4 inches | 1.4 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9780674972094

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About the Author

Caitlin Rosenthal returned to Harvard for her Ph.D. in history after three years with McKinsey & Company. A finalist for the Nevins Prize in Economic History and winner of the Krooss Prize for the Best Dissertation in Business History at Harvard University, she was a Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Business School and is now Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley.

Reviews

Full of insights into the history of Atlantic slavery, Accounting for Slavery will force its readers to look with fresh eyes at the many freedoms and unfreedoms of the modern American workplace. This is an original book, which uniquely draws from and speaks to many disciplines, while written compellingly for a wide audience.--Jonathan Levy, University of Chicago
By paying close attention to slaveholders' methods of keeping accounts, Caitlin Rosenthal shows how and why they tried to reduce human beings to marks on a ledger. Anyone concerned with the sometimes dark history of management, data, and modern accounting practices needs to read this brilliant, carefully argued book.--W. Caleb McDaniel, Rice University
Slavery in the United States was a business. A morally reprehensible--and very profitable business. Much of the research around the business history of slavery focuses on the horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the business interests that fueled it. The common narrative is that today's modern management techniques were developed in the factories in England and the industrialized North of the United States, not the plantations of the Caribbean and the American South. According to a new book by historian Caitlin Rosenthal, that narrative is wrong... Rosenthal argues that slaveholders in the American South and Caribbean were using advanced management and accounting techniques long before their northern counterparts. Techniques that are still used by businesses today.--Marketplace
Absolutely compelling.--Diane Coyle"Five Books" (11/26/2018)
[This] history of the accounting and management of slave plantations in the Americas goes a long way towards puncturing common-sense narratives of free market economics.--Martin Myers"Times Higher Education" (10/04/2018)
Examine[s] how slavery laid the foundation of American capitalism, including the invention of financial instruments, such as bonds that used enslaved people as collateral.--Parul Sehgal"New York Times" (02/27/2019)
When an accountant depreciates an asset to save on taxes or when a midlevel manager spends an afternoon filling in rows and columns on an Excel spreadsheet, they are repeating business procedures whose roots twist back to slave-labor camps...Management techniques used by 19th-century corporations were implemented during the previous century by plantation owners.--Matthew Desmond"New York Times Magazine" (08/18/2019)
Valuable...Rosenthal proves that precise calculation of labor productivity took root in the slave economy. The irony is that it was more aggressively calculated there than among many Northern manufacturers of the time.-- (05/14/2019)
Looks at how sugar and cotton plantations organised and tracked production. It is a fascinating yet horrifying history of how planters saw the slaves they profited from--and how they drove up production...Challenges many dominant ideas about capitalism, class and progress.-- (08/28/2019)