A celebrated social history, ""Life and Labor in the Old South"" (1929) represents the culmination of three decades of research and reflection on the social and economic systems of the antebellum South by a leading historian of the first half of the twentieth century. Ulrich Bonnell Phillips (1877-1934) sought to include populations neglected in earlier scholarship as a means of underscoring the region's complex diversity and the importance of human interaction. Deeply researched in primary sources, carefully focused on social and economic facets of slavery, and gracefully written, Phillips' germinal account set the standard for his contemporaries. Simultaneously the work is rife with elitism, racism, and reliance on sources that privilege white perspectives. Such contradictions between its content and viewpoint have earned this study its place at the forefront of texts in the historiography of the antebellum South and African American slavery. This edition includes a new introduction by John David Smith that frames the volume within Progressive Era scholarship, chronicles its critical reception, and highlights its influence on contemporary historical debates.