The Price for Their Pound of Flesh

  • by Daina Ramey Berry
  • Narrated by Robin Eller
  • 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 preconception, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, the senior years, and death - in the early American domestic slave trade. Covering the full "life cycle", historian Daina Ramey Berry shows the lengths to which enslavers would go to maximize profits and protect their investments. Illuminating "ghost values" or the prices placed on dead enslaved people, Berry explores the little-known domestic cadaver trade and traces the illicit sales of dead bodies to medical schools.
Writing with sensitivity and depth, Berry resurrects the voices of the enslaved and provides a rare window into enslaved peoples' experiences and thoughts, revealing how enslaved people recalled and responded to being appraised, bartered, and sold throughout the course of their lives.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Appraising Black Life

This book emerges amongst a growing set of literature on social histories of race and science in and after the Transatlantic Slave Trade. However, the diligence and, more importantly, care that Dr. Berry offers in her research on economics of the physical, social, and spiritual lives of enslaved men, women and children is a remarkable gift. This includes scalar attention to detail extends from providing specific details of individual lives before and after their transaction to constructing the work itself to reflect and honor the life cycle of the forsaken subjects of slavery. Dr. Berry has crafted a book that brings to bear crucial insight into an insidious arithmetic imposed on black lives and a restorative justice that affords their souls repose. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the intersections of economics and black bodies, legacies of human commodification, and histories of rac(ial)ist science.
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- Delande Justinvil

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-06-2017
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio