The Antislavery Vanguard
New Essays on the Abolitionists
Martin B. Duberman


The generally accepted historical viewpoint that the abolitionists were "meddlesome fanatics" is challenged here by a group of contemporary historians. In this re-examination of thee abolitionists, the harsh, one-sided judgment that they were men blind to their own motives, to the needs of the country, and even to the welfare of the slaves, and that their self-righteous fury did much to bring on a “needless war” is not completely reversed, but a more sympathetic evaluation of their role does emerge. The motives tactics and effects of the abolitionist movement are reviewed, and its place in the broader context of the antislavery movement is reconsidered.

Originally published in 1965.

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