The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery: Garrisonian Abolitionists and Transatlantic Reform


Product Details

LSU Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.81 inches | 1.17 pounds

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About the Author

W. Caleb McDaniel is associate professor of history at Rice University.


McDaniel's work will change the way scholars think about Garrison and his times. His book asks readers to understand the abolitionists as sophisticated intellectuals who refused to retreat from political problems. More importantly, it provides a broad transnational frame for understanding abolitionism, the origins of American antislavery, and, ultimately, the Civil War.-- "Journal of American History"
W. Caleb McDaniel's excellent account of Garrisonian abolitionists presents the antislavery crusaders as they saw themselves.-- "Journal of the Early Republic"
Grounded in a thorough investigation of abolitionists' public and private writings, this insightful monograph should find a wide audience among historians of abolition and reform, nineteenth-century political and intellectual historians, scholars of social movements, and historically minded democratic theorists.-- "Journal of the Civil War Era"
Thoughtful and provocative. . . . I enthusiastically recommend The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery to American intellectual historians. It is sophisticated in interpretation and broad in analysis, and is a reaffirmation that ideas really mattered in one of America's most potent moments of history.-- "Society for U.S. Intellectual History"
This insightful study will be read profitably by seasoned scholars as well as those new to the field of abolitionist studies. . . . This reviewer learned a great deal from McDaniel's careful, rich, and wide-ranging study, especially on the international dimensions of democratic and abolitionist reform.-- "Civil War History"
This important volume brims with insights that are often delivered with unusually good turns of phrase. W. Caleb McDaniel's ambitions include painting Garrisonians on a transatlantic canvas and stretching that canvas from the 1830s through the 1860s--both unusual moves within a distinguished and voluminous historiography. He is successful on both counts, and thereby sheds considerable light on both the abolitionist movement and William Lloyd Garrison himself.-- "American Historical Review"
McDaniel's book breaks valuable new ground by portraying Garrisonians in a different light and by carefully mapping the transatlantic web of abolitionism that placed them in the vanguard of nineteenth-century reform. It offers a substantial contribution to the historiography of antebellum reform and politics, international studies of slavery and the Atlantic world, and even American political theory and intellectual history.-- "Journal of Southern History"
McDaniel has produced a well-written and engaging work that will undoubtedly enjoy a wide readership and spark debate.-- "New England Quarterly"