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Land and Freedom: Rural Society, Popular Protest, and Party Politics in Antebellum New York Hardcover – October 12, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0195136005 ISBN-10: 0195136004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (October 12, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195136004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195136005
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,932,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Reeve Huston's Land and Freedom is the most exciting and original book on the social history of Jacksonian-era politics that I have read in many years. Not only does the book retell the fascinating story of New York's Anti-Rent Wars; it connects the riots and revels to the history of mainstream (and not-so-mainstream) politics in persuasive and provocative ways. It has all the markings of a classic piece of scholarship." --Sean Wilentz, Princeton University

"In a masterful achievement, Reeve Huston restores the Anti-Rent Wars to its vital place in the history of the antebellum north, describing a struggle that even in failure reshaped society and politics in New York, bridging the two worlds of proprietary manors and Free Soil Republicanism. Huston's balanced attention to practice, language, institutions, and the state make Land and Freedom a model of the newest American political history." --John L. Brooke, Tufts University

"This is an excellent book, which tells a good story well. Probably the best work for decades on the New York Anti-Renters, it makes a significant broader contribution to our understanding of antebellum society and politics, and deserves wide attention from scholars and students. Huston's account of the Hudson River Valley and the Anti-Rent movement brings together the history of rural society and the history of party politics in an especially forceful and effective way. Huston achieves something quite striking: he takes a movement that could, on its own terms, be said to have failed, but shows how it was central to the unfolding of American political ideology--in this case, the mid-nineteenth century conflict between slavery and 'free labor.'" --Christopher Clark, University of Warwick

"Land and Freedom shows the precise detail and the large significance of New York State's nineteenth-century struggles between great landlords and tenant farmers. Reeve Huston does not reduce any of his subjects to formulaic symbols. He demonstrates instead that achieving the tenants' goals was both a major change and a matter of profound historical irony." --Edward Countryman, Southern Methodist University

"Deeply researched and gracefully written, Reeve Huston's Land and Freedom is a subtle and penetrating exploration of one of the most important social movements in antebellum America. Deftly weaving previously unconnected strands of social, economic, intellectual, and political history, Huston's portrait of New York's anti-rent campaign reveals hidden complexities in rural Americans' notions of republican government, market capitalism, and even freedom itself. An outstanding contribution to nineteenth-century history." --Harry L. Watson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

About the Author

Reeve Huston is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book deals with one of the most imposing and intrinsically important chapters in the social history of the antebellum North - the protracted struggle against tenancy by residents of the great manors of New York State's Hudson River Valley. This struggle remained one of the most visible and absorbing dramas of the early nineteenth century, commanding extensive attention from newspapers and politicians alike. The episode derived its significance from its obvious connection to one of the salient social and political issues of that predominantly rural world - the connection between land-holding and citizenship. Before it concluded, the anti-rent struggle became linked to a stunningly broad array of other reform efforts. In the course of relating this story, Huston tells us new things about the evolution of the concept of "free labor," the interaction between elite and popular values and between urban and rural life, voters and politicians, and among social conditions, ideology, and mass action.
Not content with all this, Huston goes significantly further, tracing in detail (but with great economy of language) the complex ways in which that struggle influenced and was influenced by the evolution of party politics from the 1830s down through the 1850s. This study refuses to treat party politics either as tangential to the social concerns and actions of voters or as a mere reflection of them. Instead, the author shows us both how Whigs, Democrats, and eventually Republicans felt compelled to respond to the anti-renter challenge in different ways (in accordance with their own very different agendas) and how the particular nature of those responses then influenced the ideology and practice of the anti-renter struggle itself.
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By Monty on September 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
wonderful info
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0 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Seth Kershner on March 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
sElkiRk NeW York is the sure-fire
way of reasoning beyond the rural New York Robitussin-induced
hangovers which preside indefatigably
in South Fallsburg New York the place-setting
for an underrated little boy named Alouicious
aced all the Latin exams then moved on to French and
never learned what it was
to live
by golly this is a great book!
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