The Price for Their Pound of Flesh

The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation
Narrated by: Robin Eller
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.6 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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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.

©2017 Daina Ramey Berry (P)2017 Tantor

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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A must read in American history!

If you claim to know American history, yet you haven't read this book, then guess again! This book raises questions about slavery in America that don't come up in standard history texts. do yourself a favor and read this book!

1 person found this helpful

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An interesting and heart wrenching take on slavery

This work provides empirical and emotional testimonials on slavery from birth to death. Fantastic work.

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Shield our emotions with our pride & perseverance.

Realizing our unfortunate truths word by word was soul snatching and fulfilling. A MUST READ!!!!

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To never ever forget

this book gives testimony to the consciousness in my DNA. This book should be required reading for everyone especially african american mature teens and young adults.