Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery, Volume 1

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1995 - History - 306 pages
First published in 1974, Fogel and Engerman's groundbreaking book reexamined the economic foundations of American slavery, marking "the start of a new period of slavery scholarship and some searching revisions of a national tradition" (C. Vann Woodward, New York Review of Books).

In an Afterword added in 1989, the authors assess their findings in the light of recent scholarship and debate.

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User Review  - juglicerr - LibraryThing

Time on the Cross created a sensation when it was first published, and received largely favorable notice. It claimed to break new ground with its cliometric study of slavery. A notable dissenter from ... Read full review

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As a history student at Case Western Reserve University in 1974, The great professor, Bertram Wyatt-Brown, had us read this book. Being a young, urban, African-American, I thought Wyatt-Brown was off base assigning this book to read. I had heard only negative accounts of slavery and wasn't open to any benevolent associations with the "evil institution". However, the book allowed me to see a different perspective. I'm certain there were some "kind hearted" slave masters, and I've even learned about some slaves desiring enslavement once emancipated, because of hardships experienced once they were freed. The book seems to fit the Romney-Ryan theory of today that victims don't want to contribute to society but would rather just be taken care of by master. I'm certain the majority of masters were not kind, and the number of free slaves seeking re-enslavement was minimal, but these situations did exist. It may be difficult for blacks to understand such concepts, just as it is to understand black slaveholders, but such practices existed. I entered class preparing to take Wyatt-Brown to task, but I ended up learning something that I would have never imagined on my own. Greg Young CWRU class of 1977 


The International Context of United States Slavery
Occupations and Markets
Profits and Prospects
The Anatomy of Exploitation
The Origins of the Economic Indictment of Slavery
Paradoxes of Forced Labor
Implications for Our Time
Afterword 1989
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About the author (1995)

Robert William Fogel, winner of the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, is director of the Center for Population Economics at the University of Chicago.

Stanley L. Engerman is an economist and economic historian at the University of Rochester. His controversial writings on the economics of slavery with economist Robert Fogel were some of the first modern treatments of the subject.

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