Twice the Work of Free Labor: The Political Economy of Convict Labor in the New South
For the first time in a generation chain gangs have reappeared on the roads of the American South. Associated in the past with racial terrorism, this cruel and unusual punishment should invoke strong memories. But, in the rush to embrace ever-harsher sanctions, the American public has ignored the troubling history of Southern punishment.
Twice the Work of Free Labor is the first book-length study of the history of the Southern convict-lease system and its successor, the chain gang. For nearly a century after the abolition of slavery, convicts labored in the South’s mines, railroad camps, brickyards, turpentine farms and then road gangs, under abject conditions. The vast majority of these prisoners were African Americans. In this timely book, Alex Lichtenstein reveals the origins of this vicious penal slavery, explains its persistent and widespread popularity among whites, and charts its unhappy contribution to the rebirth of the South in the decades following the Civil War.
The book also offers an original analysis of the post-Civil War South’s political economy. Lichtenstein suggests that, after emancipation, forced black labor was exploited not by those who yearned for the social order of the slave South, but by the region’s most ardent advocates of progress. The convict-lease and chain gang allowed a New South to rise while preserving white supremacy.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Acts agricultural Alabama American Annual Report antebellum Assembly Association Atlanta brick Brown building camps capital capitalist cent chain gang City claimed coal mines coke Commission committee Company continued convict labor convict lease Correspondence cost County Court crime Dade Department economic fact February File Folder forced labor free labor furnaces GDAH Georgia Georgia General Assembly Governor hands History House improved increased industrial Inspectors interest iron James January Joseph Journal July June labor force lessees manufacturing March miles Mineral Resources miners negro North Carolina noted Office operators penal system penitentiary political Principal Keeper prison prison labor Proceedings production progress Public Roads punishment race racial railroad received Reconstruction Records reform relations Report result roads slave slavery Smith social society South southern state's Steel strike task Tennessee United University Press Washington whipping workers York
All Book Search results »
Towards a Comparative Political Economy of Unfree Labour: Case Studies and ...
No preview available - 1999