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Dred Scott's Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America Hardcover – April 20, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andrew P. Napolitano is Senior Judicial Analyst for Fox News Channel and the author of Constitutional Chaos, The Constitution in Exile, A Nation of Sheep, Dred Scott's Revenge, and Lies the Government Told You. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; HARDBOUND edition (April 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595552650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595552655
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Dred Scott's Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America... is thought provoking book which sheds light on the dark side of legal history throughout our country's history. A very highly recommend book to say the least.

Judge Napolitano shows how "Natural Law" (God Given Rights or Rights come from our Humanity pg. xii) and "Positivism" (the law is whatever the lawgiver says it is or the majority says pg. xiii, xiv) have affected the interpretation and application of the Constitution and different laws throughout our history. Looking back from our time it is crazy to see how insane some of the judgments and the laws created. I thought I knew a lot about the history of race and freedom in America leading up to the civil rights movement but, after reading this book, I was greatly mistaken.

This book covers from the founding of our country to today. It does not shy away from the ugliness and ignorance of our past. Judge Napolitano does not pull any punches. If it is there it is in this book - granted this is not a complete history but a very good summary of it. From Washington to Jefferson to Lincoln to Post Civil War to WWI and WWII to Brown v Board of Education to Baseball - he looks at the good and the bad the correct and the incorrect. You will be surprised when you read this book not everything was as it seemed to be or how at times we are taught in History class.

Again, I give this book my Highest Recommendation.

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Format: Hardcover
Judge Andrew Napolitano has written three previous books explaining his views on the role of natural law and our constitution. I have written favorable views of each of them even though I cannot follow him to the full extent of his arguments. For example, and he brings it up again in this book, he thinks very poorly of Abraham Lincoln and blames him for starting the Civil War. Nevertheless, and I want to be clear about this, if I had to choose only between Napolitano's view of America and the positivist view that has been prevalent and dominant in my lifetime, I would vote to go with Napolitano's views.

This terrific book takes us through the sources of slavery in America, its violation of natural law, the contortions our laws had to go through to sustain the institution of slavery while also promising human liberty and individual rights that come prior to the state. I think you will find the summary of this history both illuminating and disturbing. Napolitano is concise in his telling of this history and focuses on how this horrible institution created a legacy we wrestle with to this day. I think his discussion of the way the federal government misused its power to keep racism alive after the Civil War and through the Jim Crow laws is especially good. His discussion of how the "Brown v. Board" reached a good conclusion but still used poor constitutional reasoning is, I think, correct. The judge is also correct that both parties have used race to protect their interests and the cost of African-Americans and with corruption to our society at large. He concludes with chapters on how race has distorted our efforts at law enforcement and recounts the heroism of Jackie Robinson in breaking the color-barrier in major league baseball.
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Format: Hardcover
Without agreeing with all of Judge Napolitano's characterizations, the real theme of this book is timely and essentially illustrated: the theory of positive law, once applied to justify slavery, is now applied to all citizens. The theory of law once used to deny the rights of some is now used to deny the rights of all.
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Format: Hardcover
Book title: Dred Scott's Revenge
Author: Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2009
Number of pages: 253

I'm deeply convicted that I wouldn't normally buy a book like this. I chose to review for Thomas Nelson Publishers and I'm glad I did. I learned much and I unlearned more.

I thought the terms "states rights" vs. "federal interventionism" were current political rhetoric. I always thought that this was current liberal vs. conservative (liberal being "federal interventionism" or "big government" and "states rights" being conservative). But this is the political language of slave owners "rights" vs. big abolitionist government. And when the an administration didn't want to step in and do the right thing concerning civil rights from Lincoln right up through JFK, they laid responsibility on the states. And many states, as we all know from fairly recent history, and one set of laws for white men, and separate codes for black.

I prejudged this book since I've seen Judge Napolitano often on Fox News. I expected this book to be the same kind of non-news propaganda pumped out by Fox News. But I found that Napolitano was more fair as an author than I am as a reader. Napolitano pulls no punches in this book. He gives the straight scoop on many of our political heroes. Men we've built monuments to and close banks and schools for were less pure than our school books portray. Napolitano is not cynical or unpatriotic, in fact, he is quite patriotic and just in his exposé of the double standard this country has governed by since its inception. Justice and reconciliation demand that one tells the truth about one's shortcomings. Our greatest sins cannot be swept under the carpet for the greater good.
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