Abolition and the American Founding

As America celebrates Independence Day amid a bitter election campaign and political disorder in the streets, C. Bradley Thompson’s mind is on the time when the country first came together. Mr. Thompson, 61, is a political-science professor at South Carolina’s Clemson University and author, most recently, of “America’s Revolutionary Mind” (2019). The book takes its theme from John Adams’s 1815 observation, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, that the true American Revolution took place not on battlefield but “in the Minds of the People, from 1760 to 1775, in the course of fifteen Years before a drop of blood was drawn at…

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