Frederick Douglass: Lion of Individualist Liberalism

Frederick Douglass, whose bicentennial birthday fell on Valentine’s Day, is one of the great figures in American history, a hero whose legacy is celebrated even by those who might otherwise contest his actual ideas.
Illustrating this truth, the New York Times marked the occasion by publishing a largely negative review of Timothy Sandefur’s new biography, Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man—a book that depicts the African-American ex-slave and social reformer as a classical liberal who championed individual liberty based upon natural rights, self-reliance, and Rule of Law.
The book reviewer, Yale University historian David W. Blight, criticizes Sandefur and other “conservatives” for “co-opting” Douglass.

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