Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Slavery Paperback – January 23, 2013
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From the Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
Since this is only a book on the economics of slavery (as the book's subtitle says), it cannot examine the psychological or ethical damage that slavery caused, as the authors acknowledge. They do acknowledge that while slaves received a higher proportion of the pecuniary income they produced as wages, food, clothing, housing, and medical care than free laborers did, they also acknowledge that the non-pecuniary costs of slavery to the slaves themselves was enormous. The higher productivity of slave-worked farms was made possible, obviously enough, by forcing the slaves to do what free laborers could not be paid to do: work longer hours in a more regulated, larger farm. Interestingly enough, the gain in productivity this resulted in, while conveyed in small part to the slaves themselves in the form of higher income, did not accrue entirely or even in the most part to the planters. Rather, about half of it accrued to the consumers of cotton.Read more ›
Fogel and Engerman attack the thesis that slavery was impeding the economic progress of the South and would ultimately collapse under its own inefficiencies. Instead, they show investment in slaves was even more profitable than investments in free labor, and that owners had developed a wide system of incentives to induce quality labor from their slaves. Some claim that this means that Fogel and Engerman support slavery or that somehow this makes slavery palateable; to the contrary, their conclusion lends weight to the idea that only a Civil War would be able to end the evil practice, contrary to the hopes of many abolitionists who claimed slavery would fall apart due to its inherent weaknesses.
This work was originally shunned, but the force of its evidence and arguments has led it to become the mainstream interpretation in economic discussions of the Civil War period. Fogel recieved the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1993 (not solely for this work of course) and his most famous book is still the standard for excellence in his field.
Robert Fogel, one of the authors of the book, was one of the extremely few white men at the time - and even today - to marry an African-American wife. At the time, having a mixed marriage was enough of a stigma to bar you from "civilized" circles. This was a major reason why, in spite of his obvious talent at a young age, Fogel only managed to find a job at the young and relatively untested economics department at the University of Rochester, and later on at the University of Chicago, another department that was considered well out of the mainstream. In short, this was a man who willingly sacrificed recognition and acceptance in his career out of pure, unprejudiced love. There's no other way to put it.
It also did not help that Fogel was not just sympathetic to communism in his early years (like many intellectuals at the time) but worked as a full time communist organizer for years, which again led to difficulties in his future career. Although his views changed, his concern with inequality never did; the vast majority of Fogel's academic work focuses on historical developments of institutions and how they relate to inequality and economic growth. Unlike other economists more preoccupied with abstract and fancy models of economic exchange, Fogel made it his life's work to study the experiences and lives of common men in history.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cut the emotion; how did slavery-based agriculture work? Were slaves really "free labor"?
Slaves were expensive to buy and to maintain; only a few highly valuable... Read more
This is a great book for so many reasons. This in depth study explodes all of the lies and mythology surrounding slavery. For the most part slaves were treated very decently. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Henry Ford
"The material (not psychological) conditions of the lives of the slaves compared favorably with those of free industrial workers" (5). Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jared
With political correctness re-writing history and telling us that what someone wrote, they did not mean, and what someone said, they did not mean to say, this is a re-freshing look... Read morePublished 15 months ago by New England Reviewer
Anyone interested n American history - a must read. Anyone wants to talk to me about slavery I merely ask if they have read this gook. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bruce Hagen
This was a very controversial book when first announced, and as certain of the reviews here attest, to some extent it still is. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Arnold E. Bjorn
This book was written in the early seventies and must have been highly impactful at that time. Were a similar book to be written today there would be some different emphases and... Read morePublished on April 27, 2014 by Patrick L. Boyle