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American Inheritance: Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation, 1765-1795

Written by:
Edward J. Larson
Narrated by:
David De Vries

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2023
11 hours 19 minutes
From a Pulitzer Prize winner, a powerful history that reveals how the twin strands of liberty and slavery were joined in the nation's founding.

'Gut-wrenching. . . . While acknowledging that the study of liberty and slavery in the Revolutionary era remains a 'partisan minefield,' Mr. Larson plunges in, sparing none of the era's most prominent revolutionaries from scrutiny.' -Harold Holzer, Wall Street Journal

New attention from historians and journalists is raising pointed questions about the founding period: was the American revolution waged to preserve slavery, and was the Constitution a pact with slavery or a landmark in the antislavery movement? Leaders of the founding who called for American liberty are scrutinized for enslaving Black people themselves: George Washington consistently refused to recognize the freedom of those who escaped his Mount Vernon plantation. And we have long needed a history of the founding that fully includes Black Americans in the revolutionary protests, the war, and the debates over slavery and freedom that followed. We now have that history in Edward J. Larson's insightful synthesis of the founding. Indeed throughout Larson's brilliant history it is the voices of Black Americans that prove the most convincing of all on the urgency of liberty.
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