Mastered by the Clock: Time, Slavery, and Freedom in the American South

Synopsis

Challenging traditional assumptions about the plantation economy's reliance on a pre-modern, nature-based conception of time, Mark M. Smith shows how and why southerners--particularly masters and their slaves--came to view the clock as a legitimate arbiter of time. Ironically, Smith shows, freedom largely consolidated the dependence of masters as well as freedpeople on the clock.