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The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition

The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition

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A groundbreaking history of abolition that recovers the largely forgotten role of African Americans in the long march toward emancipation from the American Revolution through the Civil War

Received historical wisdom casts abolitionists as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. Manisha Sinha overturns this image, broadening her scope beyond the antebellum period usually associated with abolitionism and recasting it as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in causes ranging from feminism and utopian socialism to anti-imperialism and efforts to defend the rights of labor. Drawing on extensive archival research, including newly discovered letters and pamphlets, Sinha documents the influence of the Haitian Revolution and the centrality of slave resistance in shaping the ideology and tactics of abolition. This book is a comprehensive new history of the abolition movement in a transnational context. It illustrates how the abolitionist vision ultimately linked the slave’s cause to the struggle to redefine American democracy and human rights across the globe. 

About the Author 

Manisha Sinha, the Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, was born in India and received her Ph.D from Columbia University where her dissertation was nominated for the Bancroft prize. Her claim to fame: she appeared on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show in 2014. Her book The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina was named one of the ten best books on slavery in Politico in 2015. She has written for The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The New York Daily News, Time Magazine, and has been interviewed by The Times of London, The Boston Globe, and Slate. She was an adviser and on-screen expert for the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, The Abolitionists, which is a part of the NEH funded Created Equal film series. She received the Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award as well as the Chancellor's Medal, the highest faculty honor, from the University of Massachusetts, where she taught for over twenty years. 

Product Details 

  • Publisher : Yale University Press; Illustrated edition (February 21, 2017)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 784 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0300227116
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0300227116
  • Item Weight : 2.54 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.3 inches