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Mick SussmanSlavery's role in the decline of the South is an old story, but Dunn, a professor of humanities at Williams College, finds fresh insights by making a case study of Virginia. She emphasizes the significance of lesser-known figures like Thomas Roderick Dew, who in 1832 published an essay that laid the intellectual groundwork for an uncompromisingly pro-slavery ideology, and Nathaniel Beverley Tucker, who anticipated secession with an 1836 novel envisioning a Southern rebellion. Dunn's chief aim, though, is to show the complicity of Jefferson and Madison in Virginia's stagnation.
—The New York Times