Rebecca E. Zietlow
 
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REBECCA E. ZIETLOW is a renowned AUTHOR, LAWYER, AND LEGAL HISTORIAN WITH A FOCUS ON RACIAL EQUALITY AND WORKER’S RIGHTS FROM THE RECONSTRUCTION ERA TO THE PRESENT.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The Forgotten Emancipator

JAMES MITCHEL ASHLEY AND THE IDEOLOGICAL ORIGINS OF RECONSTRUCTION

 

New publication by Rebecca E. Zietlow

A Book for Academics as Well as Civil War and Reconstruction History Enthusiasts

THE FORGOTTEN EMANCIPATOR: JAMES MITCHELL ASHLEY AND THE IDEOLOGICAL ORIGINS OF RECONSTRUCTION

 
 
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Rebecca Zietlow's Area of focus and Expertise

Rebecca E. Zietlow is a lawyer, legal historian, and professor of constitutional law. 

Her work is committed to racial equality and workers’ rights, and to the constitutional advocacy of activists promoting those rights.  She specializes in the Reconstruction Era, the post-Civil War period in which our constitution was transformed to abolish slavery and protect individual rights.  Her recent work describes the egalitarian free labor vision of the antislavery and workers’ rights advocates, including James Mitchell Ashley, who abolished slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

 
 

Reviews + Praise

 
 
  • Rebecca E. Zietlow is right - James M. Ashley has been all but forgotten and deserves to be remembered. Thanks to Zietlow, we can now appreciate Ashley's pivotal role in the pre-Civil War struggle against slavery, abolition during the war, and the battle for black rights during Reconstruction. But she also emphasizes his commitment to the rights of all labourers, and we would benefit today from recalling his vision of a 'free labour' society of equals.
    — Eric Foner, Columbia University, New York
  • James M. Ashley spent decades of the nineteenth century crusading against slavery, discrimination, and labor injustice - positions in absolute harmony with one another, as the author Rebecca E. Zietlow deftly shows. This readable biography reveals Ashley in his heroism, defeat, and contradictions. More than that, it illuminates the challenges that any old-line egalitarian faced in a modern, industrializing world. In Zietlow's able hands, Ashley's life becomes as significant for our present era as it was for his own.
    — Michael Vorenberg, Brown University, Rhode Island
  • This book breaks new ground in the study of equality rights in America and will interest any reader seeking more than the conventional wisdom.
    — -Harvard Law Review
  • Zietlow performs a valuable service in probing the belief that courts are, by historical tradition, and institutional design, better protectors of minority rights than a legislative body such as Congress.
    — -Reva Siegel,Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law, Yale Law School
 
 
 
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Publishers of Rebecca Zietlow's Articles and Books