Synopses & Reviews
A Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Age of Neoslavery, the American period following the Emancipation Proclamation in which convicts, mostly black men, were leased through forced labor camps operated by state and federal governments.
In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history an Age of Neoslavery that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II.
Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Douglas A. Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter. By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.
"A formidably researched, powerfully written, wrenchingly detailed narrative." St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"[G]roundbreaking and disturbing....Blackmon's book reveals in devastating detail the legal and commercial forces that created [a] neoslavery along with deeply moving and totally appalling personal testimonies of survivors." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Shocking....Eviscerates one of our schoolchildren's most basic assumptions: that slavery in America ended with the Civil War." The New York Times
"The genius of Blackmon's book is that it illuminates both the real human tragedy and the profoundly corrupting nature of the Old South slavery as it transformed to establish a New South social order." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"An astonishing book....It will challenge and change your understanding of what we were as Americans — and of what we are." Chicago Tribune
About the Author
A native of Leland, Mississippi, Doug Blackmon is the Wall Street Journal's Atlanta Bureau Chief. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and their two children.