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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 14, 2013/ 4 Adar, 5773

Abolition, word by word: The long battle of ideas that defeated slavery

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865, a ban on slavery became the law of the land. Fitting, then, that the Library of America's sweeping new anthology of antislavery literature — a compilation of 216 works by 158 different authors —ends with the two-sentence addition to the Constitution that proscribed slavery in the United States once and for all.

Much more revealing than where it ends is where the anthology begins. American Antislavery Writings opens with the earliest known public statement of opposition to slavery in the colonies — a resolution adopted in 1688 by the Quakers of Germantown, Penn. "What thing in the world can be done worse towarts us then if men should robb or steal us away & sell us for slaves to strange Countries," the document argues, denouncing slavery as cruel and hypocritical at a time when the American Revolution lay nearly nine decades in the future.

Generations before there was a Declaration of Independence to proclaim that "all men are created equal," there were Americans who were forcefully condemning slavery as an indefensible crime against human dignity. The first abolitionist pamphlet published in New England, The Selling of Joseph, was written in 1700 by Samuel Sewall, an eminent Boston Puritan who later became chief justice of Massachusetts. "Man Stealing is ranked amongst the most atrocious of Capital Crimes," wrote Sewall as he excoriated the African slave trade that violently tore "Men from their Country, Husbands from their Wives, Parents from their Children."

When Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862, he is said to have asked: "Is this the little woman who made this great war?" The anecdote may be apocryphal, as Columbia University historian James Basker notes in his introduction to the new anthology, but it remains "the most famous tribute to the power of antislavery literature in American history." Stowe's 1852 novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," had been an international sensation — a searing bestseller that made confirmed abolitionists out of countless readers. Nonetheless, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was only the most celebrated antislavery work in a body of writing that by then was already more than 150 years old.

In the struggle against slavery, writers made use of every literary form — not only essays and novels, but poems, plays, songs, memoirs, letters, speeches, editorials. Some of the most striking pieces in the Library of America volume were written for children. The Anti-Slavery Alphabet, composed in Philadelphia in 1847, used nursery rhymes to introduce beginning readers to the slavery's dreadful realities:

W is the Whipping post,
To which the slave is bound,
While on his naked back, the lash
Makes many a bleeding wound.

Over and over, opponents of slavery decried the glaring double standard of white Americans who extolled liberty as an inalienable right, while denying it to millions held in bondage. "What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?" demanded Frederick Douglass, the foremost black abolitionist of the 19th century, in a famous 1852 address. "To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery". There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour."

Other writers resorted to irony, like the 24 "Truisms" published in The Liberator in 1831 by the prolific Boston abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. "The color of the skin determines whether a man has a soul or not," read one. "If white, he has an immortal essence; if black, he is altogether beastly. Mulattoes, however, derive no benefit from this rule."

Even more scathing was Jairus Lincoln's "Hymn 17," an abolitionist parody of "My country, 'tis of thee":

My country! 'tis of thee,
Strong hold of slavery,
Of thee I sing:
Land where my fathers died,
Where men man's rights deride,
From every mountain-side,
Thy deeds shall ring.

Eulogizing Abraham Lincoln in 1865, Massachusetts' Charles Sumner declared: "It is by ideas that we have conquered, more than by armies." That was surely a jarring thing to say in the wake of a Civil War that had killed 750,000 Americans. Yet the extraordinary array assembled in American Antislavery Writings is cogent evidence that Sumner was right. The long campaign for freedom was indeed a battle of ideas — a battle that transformed slavery into the central moral issue in American life, and eventually made its abolition the highest national priority.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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