JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Winter 2011) Wisely, Cleves does not try to claim too much for her thesis. She delineates the persistence of anti-Jacobinism in nineteenth-century reform movements without trying to argue that this was the only, or even the principal, source of those later movements. What Cleves does do, however, is to complicate our understanding of the origins of antislavery and reform generally by making us mindful of Anti-Jacobin influences alongside others. It is striking how many different bodies of literature and historiographical debates Cleves joins and enriches, whether by revising, complicating, or complementing previous interpretations--too many to be addressed in a short review. This ambitious book works on a broad scale. It makes a signal contribution to our understanding of the origins of the antislavery movement and its surprising antecedents, and speaks to the multifaceted relationship between violent words and violent acts. This is an impressive debut, and it marks Rachel Hope Cleves as a thoughtful and welcome new voice. To d d Es tes is associate professor of history at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He is the author of The Jay Treaty Debate, Public Opinion, and the Evolution of Early American Political Culture
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Nov 5, 2011
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