Book cover of The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War by Andrew Delbanco
Civil War

The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War

For decades after its founding, America was really two nations—one slave, one free. There were many reasons why this composite nation ultimately broke apart, but the fact that enslaved black people repeatedly risked their lives to flee their masters in the South in search of freedom in the North proved that the “united” states was actually a lie. Fugitive slaves exposed the contradiction between the myth that slavery was a benign institution and the reality that a nation based on the principle of human equality was in fact a prison-house in which millions of Americans had no rights at all. […Learn More]

Book cover of College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be by Andrew Delbanco
Philosophy

College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be 

The strengths and failures of the American college, and why liberal education still matters

As the commercialization of American higher education accelerates, more and more students are coming to college with the narrow aim of obtaining a preprofessional credential. The traditional four-year college experience—an exploratory time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values with the help of teachers and peers—is in danger of becoming a thing of the past. […Learn More]