No Property in Man by Sean Wilentz audiobook

No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding

By Sean Wilentz
Read by L. J. Ganser

Tantor Audio
10.39 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781541449909

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    ISBN: 9781630153571

Americans revere the Constitution even as they argue fiercely over its original toleration of slavery. Some historians have charged that slaveholders actually enshrined human bondage at the nation's founding. The acclaimed political historian Sean Wilentz shares the dismay but sees the Constitution and slavery differently. Although the proslavery side won important concessions, he asserts, antislavery impulses also influenced the framers' work. Far from covering up a crime against humanity, the Constitution restricted slavery's legitimacy under the new national government. In time, that limitation would open the way for the creation of an antislavery politics that led to Southern secession, the Civil War, and Emancipation. Wilentz's controversial and timely reconsideration upends orthodox views of the Constitution. He describes the document as a tortured paradox that abided slavery without legitimizing it. This paradox lay behind the great political battles that fractured the nation over the next seventy years. As Southern Fire-eaters invented a proslavery version of the Constitution, antislavery advocates, including Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, proclaimed antislavery versions based on the framers' refusal to validate what they called "property in man."

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Summary

Summary

Americans revere the Constitution even as they argue fiercely over its original toleration of slavery. Some historians have charged that slaveholders actually enshrined human bondage at the nation's founding. The acclaimed political historian Sean Wilentz shares the dismay but sees the Constitution and slavery differently. Although the proslavery side won important concessions, he asserts, antislavery impulses also influenced the framers' work. Far from covering up a crime against humanity, the Constitution restricted slavery's legitimacy under the new national government. In time, that limitation would open the way for the creation of an antislavery politics that led to Southern secession, the Civil War, and Emancipation.

Wilentz's controversial and timely reconsideration upends orthodox views of the Constitution. He describes the document as a tortured paradox that abided slavery without legitimizing it. This paradox lay behind the great political battles that fractured the nation over the next seventy years. As Southern Fire-eaters invented a proslavery version of the Constitution, antislavery advocates, including Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, proclaimed antislavery versions based on the framers' refusal to validate what they called "property in man."

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"[A] revealing and passionately argued book.” New York Times Book Review
“Undeniably enlightening.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Sean Wilentz

Author Bio: Sean Wilentz

Sean Wilentz is a professor of American history at Princeton University. He is the author of The Age of Reagan and The Rise of American Democracy, which received the coveted Bancroft Prize. The historian-in-residence for Bob Dylan’s official Website, he has also received a Deems Taylor Award for musical commentary and a Grammy nomination for his liner notes to Bootleg Series, Vol. 6: Bob Dylan, Live 1964: The Concert at Philharmonic Hall.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 10.39
Audience: Adult
Language: English