Masterless Men


Product Details

$29.99  $27.89
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.9 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Keri Leigh Merritt is an independent scholar in Atlanta, Georgia. Merritt's work on poverty and inequality has garnered multiple awards, and she is a co-editor of a volume on American South labor history.


'In Masterless Men, Keri Leigh Merritt offers a sweeping analysis of how we should understand the place of poor whites in the larger narrative of the Old South. Her detailed examination of the Deep South's impoverished white class will deepen our understanding about the human and economic costs of America's system of black slavery.' Charles Bolton, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
'Keri Leigh Merritt reveals the parallel roots of white poverty and slavery in the antebellum South. With precision and conviction, she demonstrates that landlessness, low wages, and illiteracy, accompanied by legal and extra-legal harassment by the state, were not mere by-products of slavery, but the result of policies that enriched slaveholders while muting dissent by poor whites.' Victoria Bynum, Texas State University, San Marcos
'Merritt moves class front and center as she documents the brutal, unfair realities of life for poor whites struggling to survive in a society structured against them. Her work holds tremendous implications for our understanding of social relations, the economy, politics, and the law in the Old South.' Jeff Forret, author of Race Relations at the Margins: Slaves and Poor Whites in the Antebellum Southern Countryside
'Eloquently argued, Merritt's work will be of interest to economic, social, and legal historians as its attention to poor whites' place in southern society provides a more complete understanding of the history of the 19th-century South. Essential.' T. K. Byron, Choice