Engerman-Fogel

Michael Hoover hoov at SPAMfreenet.tlh.fl.us
Sun Oct 22 09:43:36 MDT 2000


> >From what I've seen, the choice between these two and Genovese is Hobson in
> nature. I am more familiar with Genovese based on discussion and reading
> over the years, but from this evidence turned up on Lexis-Nexis, the
> Engerman-Fogel stuff is even more reactionary. What both sides in the
> debate seem to share is a notion that the darkies were happy with working
> for massa. If this isn't traison du clercs, I don't know what is.
> Louis Proyect

I read both in history course at University of Florida taught by David
Chalmers.  _Time on the Cross_ had just been published, _Roll Jordan Roll_
had been out for a coupla years.  I've always thought it interesting that,
whatever differences they may have had re. pre-capitalist/capitalist
antebellum South, G-F&E conclusions were similar: cultural conservative/
marxist Genovese relying upon WPA slave narratives and neo-classical/
marketeers Fogel & Engerman using computational analysis.

Old South legal system was inconsistent re. slave status except on
matters of punishment by death and right to sell. Existence of several
Souths - conditions were generally more severe on large plantations,
neighboring slavers could differ, overseers might be more/less harsh -
neither lessens relativity of EG's "good massa" nor justifies F&E's
"profit margins."  American slavery rested on use of force, not on
planter class succeeding in manufacturing legitimacy via other means.
Michael Hoover





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