The Story of American Freedom

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1999 - History - 422 pages
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From the Revolution to our own time, freedom has been America's strongest cultural bond and its most perilous fault line, a birthright for some Americans and a cruel mockery for others. Eric Foner takes freedom not as a timeless truth but as a value whose meaning and scope have been contested throughout American history. His sweeping narrative shows freedom to have been shaped not only in congressional debates and political treatises but also on plantations and picket lines, in parlors and bedrooms. His characters include the well-known-Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan-and the anonymous-former slaves, union organizers, freedom riders, and women's rights advocates. In the end he gives us a stirring history of America itself focused on its animating impulse: freedom. "Wonderfully readable . . . an excellent choice for serious readers."—New York Times Book Review
 

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The story of American freedom

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Distinguished Columbia historian Foner frames American history as a continuing fight for freedom. Read full review

Contents

To Call It Freedom
29
An Empire of Liberty
47
A New Birtk of Freedom
95
The New Deal and the Redefinition of Freedom
199
Fighting for Freedom
235
Sixties Freedom
275
Conservative Freedom jC7
307
Acknowledgments
395
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About the author (1999)

Eric Foner is the preeminent historian of his generation, highly respected by historians of every stripe—whether they specialize in political history or social history. His books have won the top awards in the profession, and he has been president of both major history organizations: the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. He has worked on every detail of Give Me Liberty!, which displays all of his trademark strengths as a scholar, teacher, and writer. A specialist on the Civil War/Reconstruction period, he regularly teaches the nineteenth-century survey at Columbia University, where he is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History. In 2011, Foner's The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize, and the Lincoln Prize.

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