Race, Slavery, and Liberalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
This book raises controversial questions about the intersections between race, literature and American intellectual history. Moving boldly between literary analysis and political theory, contemporary and antebellum US culture, Arthur Riss invites readers to rethink prevailing accounts of the relationship between slavery, liberalism, and literary representation. Situating Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Frederick Douglass at the center of antebellum debates over the person-hood of the slave, this book examines how a nation dedicated to the proposition that 'all men are created equal' formulates arguments both for and against race-based slavery. This revisionary argument promises to be unsettling for literary critics, political philosophers, historians of US slavery, as well as those interested in the link between literature and human rights.
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