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Frederick Douglass: Race and the Rebirth of American Liberalism (American Political Thought) Hardcover – February 21, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0700615728 ISBN-10: 0700615725

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Product Details

  • Series: American Political Thought
  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (February 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700615725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700615728
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,057,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Taken all in all, Myers's volume is the best contribution to understanding Douglass in a generation." --Claremont Review of Books

"A first-rate exposition of Douglas's political philosophy, and a testament to his personal strength, character, and abiding faith in America." --Political Science Quarterly

From the Back Cover

"Myers's book is an incisive and comprehensive examination of the political thought of the greatest of all black abolitionists. But it is more than that. As a fervent defense of Douglass's 'natural rights liberalism' it makes a significant contribution to current debates on the meaning of liberty and equality."--George M. Fredrickson, author of Racism: A Short History

"A beautiful, thoughtful, deeply felt volume that not only gives us the greatness of Douglass as he was in his time, but his continuing relevance in ours."--Michael P. Zuckert, author of Launching Liberalism: On Lockean Political Philosophy

"A splendidly persuasive new interpretation."--Wilson J. Moses, author of Creative Conflict in African American Thought

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By George I. Greene VINE VOICE on April 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Professor Myers' book is an equal to Professor Jaffa's book on the Lincoln-Stephen Douglas debates which helped catapault Lincoln to the White House. It seems as though Professor Myers read everything that Frederick Douglass wrote. With a keen eye and an engaging style, Professor Myers shows the core of Frederick Douglass' political philosophy which is as relevant today as it was more than 160 years ago when Frederick Douglass escaped to freedom and began to demand equal rights for both African Americans and women in a liberal democracy. One sees how thoughtful and comprehensive Frederick Douglass' thought is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Eden on January 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Possession for All Time

In this well-conceived and beautifully executed study, Myers has given Frederick Douglass a chance to explain his thought through his own books and speeches, and has thereby rescued his long career of political action from now-common misunderstandings. As a scholar, Myers cut his teeth with a fine book on Locke's political philosophy; he recognizes in Douglass a profound student of "the judicious Locke," who successfully avoided the pitfalls to which Locke's thought is prone when petrified into dogma. He understands the difficulties we face in making reason "our only star and compass" in political life. For Myers, Douglass rivals Lincoln as a model of thoughtful statesmanship, in a life devoted primarily to public speaking and writing. He displays Douglass as a master of political rhetoric who is able to bend to his audience, and rise to public emergencies, without losing his way. His Douglass is in a line with the first American Founders; and the principal obstacle to understanding him today is the same: Myers might have subtitled his book "Vindicating a Founder." After more than a century of Douglass-scholarship and criticism dominated by the historicist assumption that the human mind is never strong enough to rise above its time, Myers has restored to view Douglass's towering accomplishment, challenging readers today to meet the standard of excellence that Douglass set for all time.
Robert Eden, Professor of Political Science, Hillsdale College.
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