Slavery Revisited: Time on the Cross at 50

Author’s Note: The following is based on a more comprehensive paper titled “Slavery Revisited: Time on the Cross at 50,” published in the Spring 2024 edition of the Independent Review. Most serious works of scholars are respectfully evaluated by modest numbers of colleagues and occasionally play a small role in determining the prevailing interpretation of […]

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The Motives Fallacy and 1619

The accusation that the United States of America was “founded on slavery” is advanced to discredit the nation. Accordingly, if some people were oppressed at the time of the Founding, then somehow the entire American project is illegitimate to this day. Or, in another way, if some people who wrote or signed the Constitution also […]

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Teaching That America Is Hopelessly Racist

Many more college students have read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ anti-white screed Between the World and Me (2015) than have read, say, works by the Nobel economist Robert Fogel, Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Slavery (1974) or Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery (1989). I can say that with […]

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The New York Times Rewrites American History

On August 18, the Sunday New York Times included a section, The 1619 Project. It announced a goal unusual in journalism, reframing American history, “making explicit how slavery is the foundation on which this country is built.” The Times seemed to imagine that all the protestors were far-right conservatives, but one that caught our eye […]

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man reading book at beach

Summer Reading for Freshmen: Unchallenging, Mediocre

“Beach Books 2014-2016,” released yesterday by the National Association of Scholars (NAS), is a study of mostly summer reading assigned by colleges and universities to their incoming freshman. NAS reports: Our study of common readings during the academic years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 covers 377 assignments at 366 colleges and universities for the first year and […]

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