The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation

The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation

by Daina Ramey Berry

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Overview

The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation by Daina Ramey Berry

Groundbreaking look at slaves as commodities through every phase of life, from birth to death and beyond, in early America

The Price for Their Pound of Flesh is the first book to explore the economic value of enslaved people through every phase of their lives—including from before birth to after death—in the American domestic slave trades. Covering the full “life cycle” (including preconception, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, the senior years, and death), historian Daina Berry shows the lengths to which slaveholders would go to maximize profits. She draws from over ten years of research to explore how enslaved people responded to being appraised, bartered, and sold. By illuminating their lives, Berry ensures that the individuals she studies are regarded as people, not merely commodities. Analyzing the depth of this monetization of human property will change the way we think about slavery, reparations, capitalism, and nineteenth-century medical education.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807047620
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 01/24/2017
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 371,333
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Daina Ramey Berry is an associate professor of history and African and African diaspora studies, and the George W. Littlefield Fellow in American History, at the University of Texas at Austin. An award-winning historian, she is also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note

Preface

List of Images

INTRODUCTION
The Value of Life and Death

CHAPTER 1
Preconception: Women and Future Increase

CHAPTER 2
Infancy and Childhood

CHAPTER 3
Adolescence, Young Adulthood, and Soul Values

CHAPTER 4
Midlife and Older Adulthood

CHAPTER 5
Elderly and Superannuated

CHAPTER 6
Postmortem: Death and Ghost Values

EPILOGUE
The Afterlives of Slavery

Acknowledgments

Appendix: A Timeline of Slavery, Medical History, and Black Bodies

Note on Sources: A History of People and Corpses

Notes

Index

About the Author

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The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
henrycalphinjr More than 1 year ago
Berry provides a well-researched and comprehensive work on this critical yet largely previously untouched aspect of the economics of American slavery. The author’s discussion of soul value, or the enslaved’s perception of morality and self-value, and ghost value, the value of the enslaved body postmortem, make this work a uniquely new body of knowledge in the discipline. My personal interests in higher education and economics make the university and medical college connection to the economics of postmortem body trading and dissection fascinating. Berry’s work sheds more light on the dark history of American higher education, which is been a contemporary topic of heated discussion. As expected, the book is filled with heroes, victims, villains, and enablers. The reader comes away with a better understanding of the economics of the enslaved, from birth to postmortem. As America continues to evolve from its history of slavery, this work takes us one step further in better understanding the past—including the economics behind atrocities.