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Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II [Kindle Edition]

Douglas A. Blackmon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.95
Kindle Price: $9.63
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history—an “Age of Neoslavery” that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II.Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Douglas A. Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter. By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Wall Street Journal bureau chief Blackmon gives a groundbreaking and disturbing account of a sordid chapter in American history—the lease (essentially the sale) of convicts to commercial interests between the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th. Usually, the criminal offense was loosely defined vagrancy or even changing employers without permission. The initial sentence was brutal enough; the actual penalty, reserved almost exclusively for black men, was a form of slavery in one of hundreds of forced labor camps operated by state and county governments, large corporations, small time entrepreneurs and provincial farmers. Into this history, Blackmon weaves the story of Green Cottenham, who was charged with riding a freight train without a ticket, in 1908 and was sentenced to three months of hard labor for Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad, a subsidiary of U.S. Steel. Cottenham's sentence was extended an additional three months and six days because he was unable to pay fines then leveraged on criminals. Blackmon's book reveals in devastating detail the legal and commercial forces that created this neoslavery along with deeply moving and totally appalling personal testimonies of survivors. Every incident in this book is true, he writes; one wishes it were not so. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Shocking. . . . Eviscerates one of our schoolchildren's most basic assumptions: that slavery in America ended with the Civil War.”—The New York Times“An astonishing book. . . . It will challenge and change your understanding of what we were as Americans-and of what we are.”—Chicago Tribune “The genius of Blackmon's book is that it illuminates both the real human tragedy and the profoundly corrupting nature of the Old South slavery as it transformed to establish a New South social order.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution“A formidably researched, powerfully written, wrenchingly detailed narrative.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
237 of 254 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
In what may well be one of the most important works in non-fiction to emerge in the 21st Century, investigative journalist, Douglas Blackmon, has authored a compelling and compassionate examination of slavery's evolution, practice and influence reaching far into the 20th Century. Blackmon's, Slavery by Another Name, is certainly a prizeworthy study by a writer whose acumen for the highest in journalistic standards combined with an unusual gift for storytelling makes this historic work both enlightening and inspiring.

As an African American (bi-racial Black/White) I can attest to the facts and stories Mr. Blackmon presents, as told to me by my father who only upon his deathbed, felt safe enough to reveal. Growing up in Jasper Texas in the 1920's, he was picking cotton at age 7 and driving tractors at age 9. The atmosphere for Blacks was a living holocaust, where my father witnessed the lynching of his boyhood friend at age 13, where oppression was a daily experience for Blacks; even in the most simple terms of human interaction, where making eye-contact when addressing Whites was considered untenable and subject to harsh retribution.

Indeed, Mr. Blackmon goes far beyond these traditional understandings of racial practices, and brings new, deeper knowledge of how slavery had merely been retooled to accommodate the unforeseen realities of emancipation, allowing it to flourish for many more decades in what Blackmon calls the "Age of Neoslavery".

Resulting from the recent history-making speech on race by Presidential hopeful, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, there is huge public interest in reaching a more comprehensive understanding of race relations in our nation. The fact is, public response to Sen.
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101 of 111 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Douglas Blackmon writes an incredibly detailed account of the sad history of African Americans forcibly enslaved through questionable legal means long after the Civil War by several southern States up through WWII. Using trumped up charges or minor charges with extreme penalties requiring extended jail or prison terms, blacks were incarcerated and their terms leased out to mines, farms, logging companies and a variety of industries. Due to the financial rewards gained by arresting Sheriffs, Judges and Justices of the Peace, blacks were rounded up many times on false charges to merely increase the earning of those involved. The saddest history is the extreme treatment given to prisoners leased out or whose fines were paid by the owners of industry or property who maintained the prisoners until there "time" was complete although often extended. Working in horrible conditions, long days, 6 days a week, poorly fed, poorly housed and often severely beaten; blacks died by the score and were buried in unmarked graves. Efforts to break this form of peonage was attempted in Alabama by weakly supported U.S. Attorney Reese in 1903 who actually obtained convictions yet suffered defeat with light sentences and shockingly a pardon later by President "TR" Roosevelt. Although Roosevelt made attempts at Civil Rights, he seemed bridled by States rights over Federal and apparently political considerations. The period was particularly violent toward blacks as noted my numerous lynchings and murders of black men not just in the Deep South but also not far from Springfield, Illinois. It is also quite startling that even companies such as U.S. Steel, that expanded into the south, allowed companies they purchase to continue this form of slave labor. Read more ›
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148 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Missing Chapter in American History May 12, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Who won the Civil War?

Introduction

According to the subtext of this book, the answer depends on what is meant by the question. If you mean militarily, then of course there is no question but that the North won the war. However, if you mean who won the hearts, minds and souls of white America, then it is equally clear from the evidence that unfolded over the next one hundred years, that the winner was the South.

It matters little that each side had different goals and more importantly different pretexts to disguise its goals. In retrospect, and from any angle, this book's focus on "forced labor" proves that the result are all the same: For the North, "ending slavery" was just a pretext to gain control over the lucrative cotton markets and gain hegemony over the South, and do so at the time cotton drove the international economy in the same way that oil drives it today. However, it was the South that kept its eye on the ball. Unlike the North, the South was un-conflicted about the full meaning and importance of slavery: Southerners knew at a deep level that slavery was not only the lynch pen of the Southern way of life, it was the existential process that defined what it meant to be a white man in America, period.

Thus, if the war was about the existential existence of white maleness, then clearly this book, and the unfolding of the next 100 years of American history that it describes, proves that the South won the Civil War. Because this author makes it as clear as the sun is in the sky, that since the South's victory, wherever the South goes, the North is sure and soon to follow. It is this story, so skillfully buried within the subtext of this book that makes it such an important contribution to American history.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellently researched but some of the words written in the book were totally unfamiliar to me.
Published 9 days ago by Dr. Jerry M. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very nice!!!!!
Published 10 days ago by lcdomde
4.0 out of 5 stars Refined Exploitation
Clearly describes another way African American males have been historically exploited in society by the system
Published 11 days ago by Frankie
5.0 out of 5 stars Read, Read!!
A great deal of information. A must read,
Published 20 days ago by Bennie Loyd
5.0 out of 5 stars An American gulag with American slave labor
This book should make you angry. It's thoroughly researched, written well and with passion--yet objective, insofar as that is possible. This is a deeply disturbing, superb book. Read more
Published 22 days ago by lyndonbrecht
5.0 out of 5 stars Too much to fathom but so much to understand.
Having family heritage in North Carolina, I often wonder how things might have been living in the era of the civil war. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
History we seldom hear about with information I needed to know!
Published 1 month ago by Arnie
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare book
This is a brilliantly written and researched book. The difficulty of what to include and what not must have been torturous. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary Elizabeth Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
Good book, an asset to african american history, highly recommend this book.
Published 1 month ago by glenn plummer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very educational
Published 1 month ago by Strawberryred
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More About the Author

A native of Leland, Mississippi, Doug Blackmon is chair of the Miller Center Forum at the University of Virginia and a contributing correspondent to the Washington Post.
For many years, he was the Wall Street Journal's Atlanta Bureau Chief and then senior national correspondent. "Slavery by Another Name" was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2009, among many other honors. Blackmon and a team of WSJ reporters and editors were finalists for another Pulitzer Prize in 2010 for their investigation into the causes of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that year.
He lives in Atlanta.

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Slavery by What Other Name?
My daughter once said to me, "Mom this country is like a house built on a cracked foundation." Since stealing this land from native Americans to the present, this foundation is like a block of concrete whose fissures continue to grow and spread.
I ask what has changed? Nothing. The same... Read More
Feb 20, 2013 by BiblioTek |  See all 2 posts
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