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The acclaimed historian of slavery Robin Blackburn presents a novelinterpretation of slavery and emancipation in the Americas, tracing theimportance of the "peculiar institution" to the "Rise of the West" as well asto the discourse of human rights that looms large in local and global politicstoday. Arguing that watershed eventsled or defined by key figures suchas Thomas Paine, Toussaint Lrs"Ouverture, Louis Pierrot, Thomas Clarkson,Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and Antonio Bentoplayed a pivotalrole not only in the emergence of abolitionist ideas but also in shaping theWest, The American Crucible provides a thorough, engaging account of theoppressive regimes of the New World. Blackburn shows how the history ofslavery and the movements of opposition helped to forge the political andsocial ideals we live by today.
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