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In 1775, Samuel Johnson had already identified the central paradox of United States history. He notoriously challenged British readers to explain why ‘we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes’. Generations of historians have tried to answer that question. How could a movement espousing belief in liberty include so many slaveholders?
Scholars of contemporary religious history, of art history, and of the immigrant experience will find much to interest them in this fine volume from Samantha Baskind of Cleveland State University, Ohio.