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Race and Revolution / Edition 1 available in Paperback
The most profound crisis of conscience for white Americans at the end of the eighteenth century became their most tragic failure. Race and Revolution is a trenchant study of the revolutionary generation's early efforts to right the apparent contradiction of slavery and of their ultimate compromises that not only left the institution intact but provided it with the protection of a vastly strengthened government after 1788. Reversing the conventional view that blames slavery on the South's social and economic structures, Nash stresses the role of the northern states in the failure to abolish slavery. It was northern racism and hypocrisy as much as southern intransigence that buttressed "the peculiar institution." Nash also shows how economic and cultural factors intertwined to result not in an apparently judicious decision of the new American nation but rather its most significant lost opportunity. Race and Revolution describes the free black community's response to this failure of the revolution's promise, its vigorous and articulate pleas for justice, and the community's successes in building its own African-American institutions within the hostile environment of early nineteenth-century America. Included with the text of Race and Revolution are nineteen rare and crucial documentsletters, pamphlets, sermons, and speecheswhich provide evidence for Nash's controversial and persuasive claims. From the words of Anthony Benezet and Luther Martin to those of Absalom Jones and Caesar Sarter, readers may judge the historical record for themselves. "In reality," argues Nash, "the American Revolution represents the largest slave uprising in our history." Race and Revolution is the compelling story of that failed quest for the promise of freedom.
|Publisher:||Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.14(w) x 9.16(h) x 0.53(d)|
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Revolutionary Generation Embraces Abolitionism Chapter 2 The Failure of Abolitionism Chapter 3 Black Americans in a White Republic Chapter 4 Documents for Chapter One Chapter 5 Documents for Chapter Two Chapter 6 Documents for Chapter Three
What People are Saying About This
Race and Revolution should become standard reading in graduate and undergraduate seminars. It is broadly conceived, and engages the major historiographical issues in such a way as to suggest new avenues of investigation.
(R.J.M. Blackett, author of Building an Antislavery Wall: Black Americans in the Atlantic Abolitionist movement)
A powerful, forthright, and revisionist interpretation . . . thoroughly convincing.
Race and Revolution is a bold and stirring documentation of the collapse of the devotion for liberty in America in the immediate wake of the American Revolution. While his interpretation will startle some, Gary Nash correctly finds that the demise of efforts to abolish slavery and incorporate blacks in American society proceeded directly from an increasingly conservative, white supremacist North, not a selfserving South. Finally, Historians may be taking off the blinders that have perpetually obscured our ability to understand slavery and race as national, not regional problems.
(Larry E. Tise, author of Proslavery: A History of the Defense of Slavery in America)
The best history makes a difference in how we think about and feel the past. Race and Revolution is an important, toughminded, provocative group of essays that contributes to our understanding of the most debilitating virus in the American system. Not only has Gary Nash illuminated the critical challenge of race and slavery in the revolutionary era and "the most tragic failure" of American leaders, but he has brought to the forefront the longignored role of black revolutionists in the early struggles for freedom.
(Leon F. Litwack, author of Been in the Storm So Long)