Monday, December 26, 2016

Booknotes: John Quincy Adams and the Politics of Slavery

New Arrival:
John Quincy Adams and the Politics of Slavery: Selections from the Diary by David Waldstreicher & Matthew Mason (Oxford UP, 2016).

This book uses John Quincy Adams's own words (in the form of a series of diary selections) to examine the life-long evolution of the sixth president's views on slavery and slavery politics. In addition to selecting the material, the editors contribute a general introduction, chapter introductions, bridging commentary covering gaps between diary texts, and footnotes. 

From the description: "Expertly edited by David Waldstreicher and Matthew Mason, John Quincy Adams and the Politics of Slavery offers an unusual perspective on the dramatic and shifting politics of slavery in the early republic, as it moved from the margins to the center of public life and from the shadows to the substance of Adams's politics. The editors provide a lucid introduction to the collection as a whole and frame the individual documents with brief and engaging insights, rendering both Adams's life and the controversies over slavery into a mutually illuminating narrative. By juxtaposing Adams's personal reflections on slavery with what he said-and did not say-publicly on the issue, the editors offer a nuanced portrait of how he interacted with prevailing ideologies during his consequential career and life."

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