The Slavery Debates, 1952-1990 - Cover
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The Slavery Debates, 1952-1990

A Retrospective

Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures in Southern History

112 pages / 5.50 x 8.50 inches / no illustrations

American History | Slavery Studies

  Paperback / 9780807131992 / September 2006

Robert William Fogel was in the vanguard of those revisionists who in the mid–twentieth century challenged the prevailing historical canon on American slavery. The "slavery debates" encompassed a reexamination of almost every aspect of American slavery and became one front in a battle waged over the place of cliometrics—the use of quantitative data and statistical methods to analyze historical problems. Fogel and Stanley Engerman's 1974 groundbreaking book, Time on the Cross, applied cliometrics to the study of slavery, revealing it to be a profitable and efficient labor system, and their book remains a fiercely debated work. Now, in an enlightening memoir, Fogel chronicles the controversies surrounding American slavery over four decades and the emergence of a new generation of intellectual and political historians who questioned the progressive synthesis. The Slavery Debates is an informative summary of the literature on the economics of American slavery, offering a valuable glimpse into one of the most interesting chapters of the historical profession. 

Robert William Fogel is director of the Center for Population Economics and Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of American Institutions at the University of Chicago. Cowinner of the Nobel Prize in economics in 1993, he is the author of Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery; Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery; The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism; and many other books. Fogel is a member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities; former president of the American Economic Association; and winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History and the Gustavus Myers Award for Human Rights.

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