Cover: The Key of Liberty in PAPERBACK

The Key of Liberty

The Life and Democratic Writings of William Manning

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Product Details


$32.00 • £25.95 • €29.00

ISBN 9780674502888

Publication Date: 03/30/1993


240 pages

7 halftones

The John Harvard Library


There is much in The Key of Liberty to satisfy students and historians alike, not the least of which is a more sophisticated and compelling version of Merrill’s argument about the moral basis of markets… The Key of Liberty is a fine accomplishment and makes a significant contribution to both historians and their students.Journal of American History

The Key of Liberty provides modern-day readers with fresh insight into the thoughts of the 18th-century citizen-soldier and his analysis of the contemporary political scene.Choice

Obsessed with the struggle between the few and the many, Manning, a common ‘laborer’ whose writings were collected posthumously, gives a summary of the fiscal and political conditions in Massachusetts and the colonies during the first three presidents’ terms. Manning examined the monetary system in detail along with the interrelationships of interest groups in the young country. Fascinating is the introduction by Merrill (Labor Education Center, Rutgers) and Wilentz (history, Princeton), in which they include an analysis of the religious roots of Manning’s beliefs and arguments. One of Manning’s most penetrating and revealing theories is that popular deference commonly occurs during times of economic prosperity, that in turn breeds a complacency that Manning deplored. The work has generous footnotes and the introduction cogently presents the salient points so the reader can look to the text for Manning’s actual expressions.—Clay Williams, Library Journal

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