The 1860 census showed that in New York City there were women and children working 16 hours a day for starvation wages, 150,000 unemployed, 40,000 homeless, 600 brothels (some with girls as young as 10), and 9,000 grog shops where the poor could temporarily drown their sorrows. Half the children died before the age of 5, while in the South healthy black children proliferated in the rough abundance. No wonder that the slum refugees, unemployed, and foreign peasants who made up much of the Union army, envied, hated, and wanted to destroy the South.A review of Punished with Poverty: The Suffering South-Prosperity to Poverty & the Continuing Struggle (Shotwell, 2016) by James Ronald and Walter Donald Kennedy
This is one of the most important works of American history that has appeared in many a year. If enough Southern people could absorb the lesson of this book, it would bring about a complete reorientation of American politics.
The Kennedys have long been known as devoted, enterprising, and prolific defenders of the Southern people. In Punished with Poverty they have established, contrary to all official opinion, that the main theme of Southern history since 1865 is not RACE. It is POVERTY–shared by black and white Southerners alike.
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