Steve and Corey talk to James Oakes, Distinguished Professor of History and Graduate School Humanities Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, about “The 1619 Project” developed by The New York Times Magazine. The project argues that slavery was the defining event of US history. Jim argues that slavery was actually the least exceptional feature of the US and that what makes the US exceptional is that it is where abolition first begins. Steve wonders about the views of Thomas Jefferson who wrote that “all men are created equal” but still held slaves. Jim maintains many founders were hypocrites, but Jefferson believed what he wrote.
Other topics: Northern power, Industrialization, Capitalism, Lincoln, Inequality, Cotton, Labor, Civil War, Racism/Antiracism, Black Ownership.
For those interested in exploring Jefferson’s and Lincoln’s views further Professor Oakes recommends the following books: