Americans revere the constitution even as they argue fiercely over its original toleration of racial slavery.
Some historians have charged that slaveholders actually enshrined human bondage at the nation’s founding.
Sean Wilentz shares the dismay but sees the constitution and slavery differently. Although the proslavery side won important concessions, he asserts, antislavery impulses also influenced the framers’ work.
“No Property in Man” invites fresh debate about the political and legal struggles over slavery that began during the Revolution and concluded with the Confederacy’s defeat.
It drives straight to the heart of the most contentious and enduring issue in all of American history, according to a review on goodreads.com.