Scholarly

Book Chapter

Boushey, Heather, J. Bradford DeLong and Marshall Steinbaum, ed. After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017.

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is the most widely discussed work of economics in recent history, selling millions of copies in dozens of languages. But are its analyses of inequality and economic growth on target? Where should researchers go from here in exploring the ideas Piketty pushed to the forefront of global conversation? A cast of economists and other social scientists tackle these questions in dialogue with Piketty, in what is sure to be a much-debated book in its own right.

After Piketty opens with a discussion by Arthur Goldhammer, the book’s translator, of the reasons for Capital’s phenomenal success, followed by the published reviews of Nobel laureates Paul Krugman and Robert Solow. The rest of the book is devoted to newly commissioned essays that interrogate Piketty’s arguments. Suresh Naidu and other contributors ask whether Piketty said enough about power, slavery, and the complex nature of capital. Laura Tyson and Michael Spence consider the impact of technology on inequality. Heather Boushey, Branko Milanovic, and others consider topics ranging from gender to trends in the global South. Emmanuel Saez lays out an agenda for future research on inequality, while a variety of essayists examine the book’s implications for the social sciences more broadly. Piketty replies to these questions in a substantial concluding chapter.

Book Chapter

Beckert, Sven and Seth Rockman, ed. Slavery's Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.

"During the nineteenth century, the United States entered the ranks of the world's most advanced and dynamic economies. At the same time, the nation sustained an expansive and brutal system of human bondage. This was no mere coincidence. Slavery's Capitalism argues for slavery's centrality to the emergence of American capitalism in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. According to editors Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, the issue is not whether slavery itself was or was not capitalist but, rather, the impossibility of understanding the nation's spectacular pattern of economic development without situating slavery front and center. American capitalism—renowned for its celebration of market competition, private property, and the self-made man—has its origins in an American slavery predicated on the abhorrent notion that human beings could be legally owned and compelled to work under force of violence."

Book Chapter

Link, William A., David Brown, Brian Ward, and Martyn Bone, ed. Creating Citizenship in the Nineteenth-Century South. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2013.

"The pioneering essays in this volume are the first to address the evolution and significance of citizenship in the South from the antebellum era, through the Civil War, and down into the late nineteenth century. They explore the politics and meanings of citizenry and citizens’ rights in the nineteenth-century American South: from the full citizenship of some white males to the partial citizenship of women with no voting rights, from the precarious position of free blacks and enslaved African American anti-citizens, to postwar Confederate rebels who were not "loyal citizens" according to the federal government but forcibly asserted their citizenship as white supremacy was restored in the Jim Crow South."

Journal Article

Berry, Daina Ramey. "Teaching Ar'n't I a Woman?" Journal of Women’s History 19 (2007): 139-145.

"Each spring semester, I begin my African American women’s history class with images of black women from the seventeenth century to the present. Students squirm in their seats because the first few slides depict enslaved women in coffles being transported to slave ships. Images of half naked bondwomen, with agonizing facial expressions, exposed breasts, and children clinging to their ankles, shock the students. Some cringe when the next slide appears. Pictured is an enslaved woman forced to her knees, her arms twisted behind her, while two men stamp a hot iron rod on her shoulder to brand the initials of a slave-trading firm or slaveholder. Moving forward to the twentieth century, students seem relieved to see the familiar image of Hattie McDaniel from Gone with the Wind. No more naked bodies, they think; no more distressing photographs. Yet this stereotype is in some ways equally disturbing."

Journal Article

Berry, Daina Ramey. "'In Pressing Need of Cash': Gender, Skills, and Family Persistence in the Domestic Slave Trade." Journal of African American History 92 (2007): 22-36.

"Charlotte grew up on a Rockingham County, Virginia, plantation with her parents and sixteen brothers and sisters. Her family was somewhat favored by their slaveholder Charles L. Yancy because they represented nearly half of his enslaved population. They spent most of the day in the fields cultivating wheat, corn, rye, hemp, and tobacco; her father Novel was the 'head man' who managed the agricultural laborers. Their lives changed when Yancy, who developed a drinking problem, decided to employ an overseer. Suddenly, the plantation profits decreased and Charlotte and her family were subjected to four overseers over the course of two or three years. Unfortunately, Yancy's financial troubles continued and he 'found himself in pressing need of cash,' so Charlotte was sold to the highest bidder on the auction block in Richmond."

Book Chapter

Johnson, Walter, ed. The Chattel Principle: Internal Slave Trades in the Americas, 1808-1888. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005.

"This wide-ranging book presents the first comprehensive and comparative account of the slave trade within the nations and colonial systems of the Americas. While most scholarly attention to slavery in the Americas has concentrated on international transatlantic trade, the essays in this volume focus on the slave trades within Brazil, the West Indies, and the Southern states of the United States after the closing of the Atlantic slave trade. The contributors cast new light upon questions that have framed the study of slavery in the Americas for decades. The book investigates such topics as the illegal slave trade in Cuba, the Creole slave revolt in the U.S., and the debate between pro- and antislavery factions over the interstate slave trade in the South. Together, the authors offer fresh and provocative insights into the interrelations of capitalism, sovereignty, and slavery."

Book Chapter

Callahan, Ashley, ed. The Savannah River Valley up to 1865: Fine Arts, Architecture, and Decorative Arts. Athens: Georgia Museum of Art, 2003.

"On 26 August 1834, slaveholder David Murray placed an advertisement in a local newspaper from Wilkes County, Georgia, referring to two female runaway slaves: thirty-five- to forty-year-old Beck and her twenty-two- to twenty-three-year-old daughter Mariah. Though he provided adequate physical descriptions of the two women in terms of their height, hair, teeth, complexion, scars, and mannerisms, Murray made special notation of their clothing."

Journal Article

Ramey, Daina L. "'A Heap of Us Slaves:' Family and Community Life Among Slave Women in Georgia." Atlanta History: A Journal of Georgia and the South 44 (2000): 21-38.

"'The first thing I recollect is my love for my mother,' explained Adeline Willis, a former slave from Wilkes County, Georgia. 'I loved her so,' she continued, 'and would cry when I couldn't be with her.' The love and affection for her mother Adeline so vividly recalled, continued even after she married and had children of her own. Although her husband Lewis resided on an 'adjoining plantation,' she proudly testified he 'came to see me any time 'cause his Marster...give him a pass.' Adeline was fortunate to live on the same plantation with her mother and to marry a man whose master allowed him to visit her. However, not all female slaves had the same privileges."

Journal Article

Ramey, Daina L. "'She Do a Heap of Work': Female Slave Labor on Glynn County Rice and Cotton Plantations." The Georgia Historical Quarterly 82 (1998): 707-734.

"Oh my Missis! my missis! me neber sleep till day for de pain,' exclaimed Mile, the former slave mother of fifteen to her mistress Frances Kemble. Suffering from rheumatism, two miscarriages, and mourning the deaths of nine children, this female slave, like others, was forced to work in the fields daily. Slave women in Glynn County, Georgia, such as Mile, operated as central figures in the antebellum plantation work force. Their labor in the fields and the Big House functioned as an essential component to the maintenance of the plantation regime, especially during the decades preceding the Civil War. Masters and mistresses clearly articulated slave women's value through their agricultural and personal journals. Yet traditional assumptions about male physical prowess and skill have caused scholars to overlook female slaves' contributions."