American Tradition of Liberty, 1800-1860. From Jefferson to Lincoln

Author: Cooke, J. W.
The only work to deal with the study of the meaning of freedom during the period in question. Describes the beliefs of 20-plus political philosophers, clergymen and theologians, collectivists, individualists, anarchists, and pro- and anti-slavery polemicists in a series of intellectual sketches held together by a common theme: what did the literate and articulate antebellum American mean when he used the words liberty and freedom?


"The strength of Cooke's analysis is his thorough descriptions of the diverse understandings of liberty of a good cross section of American intellectuals. . . . Cooke helpfully explains each spokesman's conception of freedom and, by organizing all his chapters to include both southern and northern voices, enables readers to see the potential conflict between them." - Journal of Southern History

". . . thoroughly researched in secondary sources, tightly reasoned and for the most part well written. . . . an important book . . . ." - The Tennessean