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Book Cover
Author Rosenthal, Caitlin, author

Title Accounting for slavery : masters and management / Caitlin Rosenthal
Published Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2018


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 MELB  331.117340973 Ros/Afs  AVAILABLE
Description xiv, 295 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
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
Summary 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 Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Slavery -- Economic aspects -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
Slavery -- Economic aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Slavery -- Economic aspects -- West Indies, British -- History -- 18th century.
Slavery -- Economic aspects -- West Indies, British -- History -- 19th century.
Human capital -- United States -- History.
Human capital -- West Indies, British -- History.
Plantations -- United States -- Accounting -- History.
Plantations -- West Indies, British -- Accounting -- History.
Plantation owners -- United States -- History.
Plantation owners -- West Indies, British -- History.
United Kingdom -- Colonies -- West Indies -- History.
Genre/Form History.
LC no. 2017058060
ISBN 9780674972094 (hardcover ;) (alkaline paper)
0674972090 (hardcover ;) (alkaline paper)