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Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II Paperback – January 13, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0385722704 ISBN-10: 0385722702 Edition: Reprint

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Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II + The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness + The Souls of Black Folk (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (January 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385722702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385722704
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

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.

Customer Reviews

Blackmon's book, as mentioned, is painstakingly researched.
T. Cooper
And Mr. Blackmon's pioneering work is helping us to break new ground toward a path of greater insight and reconciliation.
Ellison Horne
If you are like me, you will not be able to read this book in one sitting.
Polycarp Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

230 of 246 people found the following review helpful By Ellison Horne on March 29, 2008
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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98 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Hurley VINE VOICE on April 26, 2008
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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142 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Herbert L Calhoun on 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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