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Writing slavery back into American business history

Caitlin Rosenthal, an assistant professor of history at UC Berkeley, has brought history into fresh focus with her new book, Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management, which examines how white owners of enslaved black people were early innovators of many business practices and terms we use today.

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November 26, 2018
Assistant history professor Caitlin Rosenthal discusses her new book Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management on the Harvard Business Review's IdeaCast podcast. Noting that she's "probably the only person to write a history of slavery by accident," she describes how she became interested in the "emergence of scale in American businesses," and how that led her to a thread of stories showing "slaveholders using many of the same practices that are usually considered to be milestones in the emergence of modern business." She thought, "What would the history of American business practices look like if we fully considered slavery? How could we write slavery back into that history?" Link to audio.
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