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American Slavery, American Freedomby Edmund S. Morgan
Synopses & Reviews
In the American Revolution, Virginians were the most eloquent spokesmen for freedom and quality. George Washington led the Americans in battle against British oppression. Thomas Jefferson led them in declaring independence. Virginians drafted not only the Declaration but also the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; they were elected to the presidency of the United States under that Constitution for thirty-two of the first thirty-six years of its existence. They were all slaveholders. In the new preface Edmund S. Morgan writes: "Human relations among us still suffer from the former enslavement of a large portion of our predecessors. The freedom of the free, the growth of freedom experienced in the American Revolution depended more than we like to admit on the enslavement of more than 20 percent of us at that time. How republican freedom came to be supported, at least in large part, by its opposite, slavery, is the subject of this book. is a study of the tragic contradiction at the core of America. Morgan finds the keys to this central paradox, "the marriage of slavery and freedom," in the people and the politics of the state that was both the birthplace of the Revolution and the largest slaveholding state in the country.
Book News Annotation:
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other Virginians led the battle against British oppression and drafted the country's founding documents, yet they were also slaveholders. Morgan (history emeritus, Yale University) examines the tragic contradiction at the core of America, looking at the people and politics of the state that was both the birthplace of the Revolution and the largest slaveholding state in the country. The book was first published in 1975 by W.W. Norton and Company. This reprint includes a new preface by the author.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
"Thoughtful, suggestive and highly readable."--New York Times Book Review
"If it is possible to understand the American paradox, the marriage of slavery and freedom, Virginia is surely the place to begin," writes Edmund S. Morgan in American Slavery, American Freedom, a study of the tragic contradiction at the core of America. Morgan finds the key to this central paradox in the people and politics of the state that was both the birthplace of the revolution and the largest slaveholding state in the country. With a new introduction. Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize and the Albert J. Beveridge Award.
About the Author
Edmund S. Morgan (1916-2013) was the Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale University and the recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the Pulitzer Prize, and the American Academy's Gold Medal. The author of The Genuine Article; American Slavery, American Freedom; Benjamin Franklin; and American Heroes, among many others.
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