MP3 Audio Sample
A profoundly humane look at an inhumane institution, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh will have a major impact on how we think about slavery, reparations, capitalism, nineteenth-century medical education, and the value of life and death.
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.
Running time 9 hrs