Dred Scott's Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America

Dred Scott's Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America

by Andrew P. Napolitano
4.1 14

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Dred Scott's Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America by Andrew P. Napolitano

Racial hatred is one of the ugliest of human emotions. And the United States not only once condoned it, it also mandated it?wove it right into the fabric of American jurisprudence. Federal and state governments legally suspended the free will of blacks for 150 years and then denied blacks equal protection of the law for another 150.

How did such crimes happen in America? How were the laws of the land, even the Constitution itself, twisted into repressive and oppressive legislation that denied people their inalienable rights?

Taking the Dred Scott case of 1957 as his shocking center, Judge Andrew P. Napolitano tells the story of how it happened and, through it, builds a damning case against American statesmen from Lincoln to Wilson, from FDR to JFK.

Born a slave in Virginia, Dred Scott sued for freedom based on the fact that he had lived in states and territories where slavery was illegal. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Scott, denied citizenship to blacks, and spawned more than a century of government-sponsored maltreatment that destroyed lives, suppressed freedom, and scarred our culture.

Dred Scott's Revenge is the story of America's long struggle to provide a new context?one in which "All men are created equal," and government really treats them so.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781418575571
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 04/20/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 251,171
File size: 678 KB

About the Author

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is Fox News Channel's senior judicial analyst, currently seen by millions of viewers weeknights on The Big Story and The O'Reilly Factor. Napolitano is the youngest person in New Jersey history to receive a lifetime judgeship. He is bright (graduate of Princeton and Notre Dame Law School), articulate (four times voted most outstanding professor at the two law schools at which he taught), and broadcast-experienced (as a daily fixture on Fox News Channel since 1998). He is the author of Constitutional Chaos and The Constitution In Exile.

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Dred Scott's Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an easy read, and it really makes you think about how life was back then. This is one of the best books I've read.
RetPastorRon More than 1 year ago
I greatly appreciated the author's panoramic presentation of the legal and political relations between white and black people from before the American Revolution to the present. The author demonstrates a brilliant legal mind, a broad spectrum of impressive legal experience, and a clear and forceful articulation of his positions. He blasts the violations of natural law and the U.S. Constitution, and the damnable legal and hateful injustices inflicted on black people - with the Dred Scott a prime exhibit. It is valuable to see this overview and the author's principles and interpretations, also to see the positive gains in freedom for African-Americans, and hope for the future. I was stunned to read the author's persuasion that Abraham Lincoln should not be called the "Great Emancipator." The author also provides his significant view of Thomas Jefferson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made me look through new eyes at events of my childhood/teen years. I grew up in the rural South and my ancestors were substantial slaveholders. I have taught school for 30 yrs. and I thought my eyes had been opened by my classroom experiences and Af. Am friends who are dear to me, but this book scratched off scabs and made me properly treat the wounds.
MizzEmily More than 1 year ago
What a provocative title! At least it's provocative if you know who Dred Scott is. If you don't know, take a side-trip to The History Place now, http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/dred.htm. Judge Napolitano traces the history of racism in the United States from its origin in the institution of slavery to the present day. He weaves a fascinating story of how the government (which is supposed to protect people) actually contributed to the establishment and continuation of slavery throughout the years. The most surprising portion for me was the section on Lincoln and the Civil War. The judge points out that many other countries managed to abolish slavery without resorting to war. Why, then, was it necessary in the United States? The short answer is: POLITICS. Lincoln was motivated by politics like most others who manage to get elected to national office. He actually never completely denounced slavery during the time he was running for office or while he was in the White House. Political considerations always prevailed. When I started reading this book, I expected a lot of legal lingo, and I was concerned that I might not fully understand it all. However, Napolitano's writing style is very much like his speaking style (if you've heard him explain legal matters on FoxNews). It's not the type of book you read for recreational purposes, but I highly recommend it to every American who thinks they understand how racism has affected American society.
Curious83 More than 1 year ago
Judge Napolitano does an excellent job of explaining the state of race relations in this country. He also does an excellent job of explaining that our view of the history of both slavery and the civil war is seriously flawed.
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LauraN More than 1 year ago
Judge Andrew Napolitano starts with a bang. He is challenging the attitudes and actions of the founding fathers in the introduction and doesn't slow down after that. The book covers history, politics, judicial rulings, and long-term effects of each major step in our nation's path. The author offers a framework for looking at slavery and then uses that framework to show the wrong choices and bad values that kept slavery, segregation, and the view that blacks were an inferior race alive for so long in the United States. He challenges a lot of what I learned in school and backs it up pretty well. He argues a few things that I am still not convinced about but that doesn't detract from the truth of the book. Even if I think the founding fathers had little choice if they were going to create a united country, his point is well made when it goes on for another 200 years and not only does the federal government allow the South to keep slavery/segregation, but then it institutionalizes it across the entire nation. He teaches more than just racism and sees more concerns with our government's behavior than just race-related. But the arena of race is an excellent example of the issues and a subject worthy of more attention and effort. This book will challenge common knowledge about the history of race relations in the US. It will convince you the battle isn't over.
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