Vindicating the founders : race, sex, class, and justice in the origins of America /
Thomas G. West.
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1997.
xv, 218 p.
0847685160 (alk. paper)
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Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1997.
0847685160 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-02:
In an analysis of race, sex, class, and justice, West uses words of today's sophisticated elites to deny that the Founding Fathers' ideas were conceived in anachronistic thought that did little to advance the status of citizens. He concludes that blacks were liberated during the Founders' era, through the period of the Civil War, and have continued to gain in a positive manner. Property rights denied to slaves before the Revolution improved both on the basis of Locke's propositions and Jefferson's restatement of same in the "Declaration." West challenges the assertion by Joan Hoff Wilson that the era produced no benefits for women and asserts that Founders' words, such as those of James Wilson, afford no basis for her arguments. Although the Founders debated whether propertyless citizens had the right of suffrage, they removed property qualifications from voting. Welfare in early America was based on the Franklinian axiom that poverty can be controlled if the poor are taught to work. And finally, the Founders understood that the limits of immigration should be based on the dedication of newly arrived persons being able to accept new laws, principles, and a broader culture. A provocative and interesting book. All levels. J. D. Born Jr.; Wichita State University
Appeared in Library Journal on 1997-10-01:
West (politics, Univ. of Dallas) aims to defend the U.S. Constitution and the men who drafted it in 1787 from the accusations of sexism, racism, and prejudice against the poor. West writes from a conservative perspective, and, as he frequently pauses to remind the reader, his arguments are learned and logical. However, this is a deeply flawed book. West writes in a supercilious and dismissive tone. Worse, he digresses far afield to introduce his ideas on contemporary issues, which have almost nothing to do with the founders; his chapter on the family is simply a compendium of current conservative views and he rarely mentions the founders, who said and wrote little on the subject. More eloquent and elegant conservative viewpoints on the founding include Marvin Olasky's Fighting for Liberty and Virtue (Regnery, 1996), M.E. Bradford and Russell Kirk's A Better Guide Than Reason (Transaction, 1994), and Forrest McDonald's We the People (Transaction, 1992).‘Fritz Buckallew, Univ. of Central Oklahoma Lib., Edmond (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, October 1997
Choice, February 1998
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Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Slaveryp. 1
Property Rightsp. 37
Women and the Right to Votep. 71
Women and the Familyp. 85
Was the Founding Undemocratic? the Property Requirement for Votingp. 111
Poverty and Welfarep. 131
Immigration and the Moral Conditions of Citizenshipp. 147
Afterwordp. 175
Notesp. 181
Indexp. 211
About the Authorp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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