** Accounting for Slavery by Caitlin Rosenthal

There were many times while I was reading Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management when I had to take a pause because the discussion was horrifying. Not because the author describes particularly violent incidents, but for exactly the opposite reason: because she discusses the business of slavery, and the management of slaves, as if it were a perfectly legitimate, mundane set of tasks that lend themselves to spreadsheet and pre-printed log books. And we are not talking only about credits and debits, or even records of job assignments. There are special pages for calculations of “capital”, which very much includes human capital. If you must know, old women weren’t worth much in that world…

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