Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The New Republic: "Battle Lines" by Gordon S. Wood

The New Republic

For the December issue of The New Republic, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gordon S. Wood considers how two books—No Property In Man: Slavery and Antislavery At The Nation’s Founding by Sean Wilentz and The War Before The War: Fugitive Slaves And The Struggle For America’s Soul From the Revolution to the Civil War by Andrew Delbanco—offer new perspectives on the events leading up to the Civil War.

As Wood writes in Battle Lines,” Wilentz sets out to demonstrate that the Constitution did not enshrine slavery as abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison had claimed. Meanwhile, Delbanco focuses on the fugitive slave laws that hastened the breakup of the Union. Wood notes that both writers “hold out the hope that the Constitution, flawed as it may be, can be the instrument for doing the right thing.”

You can read the entire piece here.

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