Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson

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"Despite the egalitarian wording of the framers of the Constitution, legal historian Paul Finkelman shows in stunning detail the nameless presence of 'slavery'--the word itself hidden in plain sight while its meaning and implications pervaded every article of the original document. This third edition of Slavery and the Founders, with its provocative new chapter on ending the African Slave Trade, weaves together the complex motivations of the Revolutionary generation, both its proslavery and antislavery representatives, into a tightly argued narrative. Today, as we commemorate the various sesquicentennial anniversaries related to the Civil War and the end of slavery, Finkelman offers a timely reminder of why the American legal system ultimately rejected the original intent of its founders." — Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Harvard University

"The new edition of Paul Finkelman's provocative Slavery and the Founders is a welcome addition to the literature. No one in recent years has done more than Finkelman to force scholars to rethink the relationship between racial slavery and the founding of the American republic. Written with passionate purpose and an extraordinary mastery of the field, these important essays will help set the agenda for the next generation of scholarship. Finkelman's essays on Jefferson are particularly notable, definitively demolishing the Master of Monticello's antislavery credentials." — Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia (on the previous edition)

"Forcefully and eloquently, Paul Finkelman presses the case that slavery and race were towering issues in the politics of the early American republic--and that Thomas Jefferson could be reliably found on the proslavery, antiblack side of every controversy. This enlarged edition of the 1996 book refines the previous content and adds a new essay on slavery in the Age of Federalism." — Peter Wallenstein, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (on the previous edition)

Vom Verlag:

In this new edition of his classic work, Slavery and the Founders, Paul Finkelman addresses a central issue of the American founding: how the first generation of leaders of the United States dealt with the profoundly important question of human bondage. This book explores the tension between the professed idea of America as stated in the Declaration of Independence, and the reality of the early American republic, reminding us of the profound and disturbing ways that slavery affected the American Constitution and early American politics. This Third Edition includes a new chapter on the regulation of the African slave trade and the latest research on Thomas Jefferson. Slavery and the Founders remains the most important and detailed short critique of Jeffersons relationship to slavery available, while at the same time contrasting his relationship to slavery with that of other founders.

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