ECU Libraries Catalog

Accounting for slavery : masters and management / Caitlin Rosenthal.

Author/creator Rosenthal, Caitlin author.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2018.
Copyright Notice ©2018
Descriptionxiv, 295 pages ; 25 cm
Subject(s)
Contents Hierarchies of life and death -- Forms of labor -- Slavery's scientific management -- Human capital -- Managing freedom -- Conclusion: Histories of business and slavery -- Epilogue: Forward to scientific management.
Abstract Accounting for Slavery offers a history of business and management practices on slave plantations in the British West Indies and the American South, covering the century from approximately 1780-1880. Far from lagging behind Northern manufacturers, the most sophisticated Southern planters used complex management techniques, measuring and monitoring their human capital with precision. More broadly, the book explores the complex relationship between slavery and capitalism in American history. The traditional story of modern management focuses on the factories of England and New England, largely ignoring plantation economies. Drawing on extensive archival research into plantation accounting practices, the author argues that the harsh realities of slavery were compatible with a highly quantitative, calculating style of management. Planters allocated and reallocated slaves' labor from task to task, precisely monitored their productivity, and depreciated their "human capital" decades before depreciation became a common accounting technique.-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references and index.
Genre/formHistory.
LCCN 2017058060
ISBN9780674972094
ISBN0674972090 hardcover ; alkaline paper

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