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Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery (Norton Paperback) Paperback – August 17, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0393312195 ISBN-10: 0393312194

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Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery (Norton Paperback) + Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Slavery
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fogel spells out a moral indictment of slavery that supplements his coolly statistical 1974 Time on the Cross ; findings include a high infant mortality rate due to overworked pregnant women and slave hierarchies established by masters. ``Reworking some of the material in Time on the Cross , this incisive, probing reexamination is bound to provoke controversy,'' said PW.

Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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

From Library Journal

Fogel again creates a landmark in the scholarship on slavery, as he did with Time on the Cross (LJ 7/74), co-authored with Stanley Engerman. Here, in the first of several volumes--one on evidence and methods and two of technical papers--he draws a monumental mosaic of findings sice Kenneth Stampp's The Peculiar Institution (1956). He pictures slavery as economically efficient and rational; abolition, not slavery, as retarding the South's economic growth; politics, not economics, as destroying slavery. His analysis and narrative of slavery as an economic and social system, and of the ideological and political struggle to abolish it, and what he calls a "modern indictment"--made explicit in a highly personal afterword--help to transform perceptions of slavery and the black experience under it. No student of slavery, America, or the Atlantic world can ignore this book. Highest recommendation.
- Thomas J. Davis, SUNY at Buffalo
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Paperback
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (August 17, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393312194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393312195
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #617,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cabin Dweller on January 15, 2015
Format: Paperback
I don’t know why a “rise and fall” book is always of such dramatic and morbid interest, such as with the Roman Empire or the Third Reich, except for here with the subject of American slavery. This is one of the less dramatic books I have read lately. The author Robert William Fogel made all attempts to successfully avoid the rise and fall of narrative plot and instead is a very meticulous documentarian and statistician. Looking back, I can now see this book had three parts: the numbers, which I have never read; the abolitionists, which I have lately and often read; and the theory, which proposes that slavery was still profitable and not on its way out by natural means. If Fogel prefaced this book with that outline, he was too verbose to have been clear. Now I see that he has thought more about the topic of slavery than entire cities of people.
On page 30 is a bundle of stats and a graph to proof slavery was not diminishing throughout the 19th Century. 11 percent of all slaves lived on cotton plantations in 1800. 64 percent lived there by 1850. Tobacco, sugar, and rice dwindled by importance. There is also a map in this first section which shows virtually no slaves, in 1800, in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. I have heard it said many times, but the cotton gin revolutionized slavery still more than we realize.
As comprehensive as Fogel is, a significant part of this book is out of bounds of the South. On page 83, he has begun his theme of the power, success, and efficiency of Southern Slavery.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gderf on December 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book expands on the conclusions of "Time on the Cross'. For all it's immorality, slavery was an economically viable institution, generally more profitable than free labor. More like a project than a book read, I'm not sure whether the object is economic or historical. Except for potential upward mobility slaves generally lived with better condition than free laborers in the North. At least one economic issue is understated. Without elaboration, Fogel says that the invention of the cotton gin benefited S. Carolina most of all.

I have to wonder why so much history and sociology is included in a book where the unique contribution is in the realm of economics (cliometrics). Probably Fogel doesn't want to be interpreted as condoning slavery as a result of economic viability. It's sometimes hard to separate out economic considerations from social issues.

I didn't get a good take on the cliometric method methodology behind the results. Maybe that takes digging into the background material in the three companion volumes. Fogel refers to cliometrics a number of times without explaining methods or objectives. The book gives no reason to think that econometric modeling can be any more successful in analyzing causes of past sociology and history than it has been in predicting modern economic and market trends.

Fogel doesn't agree with the speculation that slavery would have soon died out if restricted from expansion. In the afterword he speculates that slavery would not soon have died out if the cotton states had been allowed to secede peacefully. The book examines historical background, constitutionality, and social issues of culture and morality.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kirill on May 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting book with in-depth insight on both the origin and economics of slavery, and the underlying causes that ultimately led to the Civil War. A must-read for anyone interested in the subject.
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8 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent work on the impact of slavery in the Americas.
Between 1600-1800, the New World slaves numbered under 1/5 of the
population in the Western Hemisphere. Before the American
Revolution, sugar was approximately 1/5 of English imports and
slaves produced commodities in England at about 30% . Sugar
plantations had a sugar factory with 20% slave labor. The workers
ground the sugar between rollers to extract juice. The juice
was filtered to remove impurities. Curing sugar involved
dripping molasses and a distillation process leading to rum.
In Cuba, railroad production was encouraged to serve the growing
sugar industry. The process of converting peasants to industrial
laborers was difficult due to the extreme resistance.

In the 20s and 30s, Stalin complained about resistance of
Russian muzhiks to the demands of modern assembly lines.
Andrew Ure, the apostle of the factory system, noted that it was
nearly impossible to convert persons past puberty to become
useful factory hands. This was due to the behavioral unwillingness to be dehumanized. The absence of sugar production
in the USA meant fewer slaves proportionately than in the
Caribbean. Cotton was not a major crop until the 19th century.

Between 1800-1860, there was a westward movement of cotton and
slaves. The Civil War achieved continued struggle of poor blacks
and whites and an improved economy. The contents of this book
would be an important contribution to American and World History
texts.
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