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In the Shadow of Liberty : The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives

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"An examination of American slavery through the true stories of five enslaved people who were considered the property of some of our best-known presidents"-- 2017 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction finalist

Did you know that many of America’s Founding Fathers―who fought for liberty and justice for all―were slave owners?

Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were “owned” by four of our greatest presidents, this book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America. From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, faithful servant of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country’s great tragedy―that a nation “conceived in liberty” was also born in shackles.

These stories help us know the real people who were essential to the birth of this nation but traditionally have been left out of the history books. Their stories are true―and they should be heard.

Read by Ken Davis, with Frankie Faison, Keith David, JD Jackson, Adenrele Ojo, Adam Lazarre-White, Dion Graham, and Mark Bramhall


Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Book Format
Original Languages
Kenneth C. Davis
Publication Date
September, 2016
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
6.00 x 5.10 x 1.20 Inches

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Teen non-fiction. Well...

Teen non-fiction. Well-researched, and written tells the stories of 5 enslaved people in chronological order and their owners; 4 Presidents. This was interesting an a fast read, and made me think. Jefferson held many slaves while he wrote about all men being created equal. Washington fought the tyranny of the British, while he held slaves.

The stories of five sl...

The stories of five slaves from the homes of four early U.S. Presidents. Unlike most slaves, whose stories are lost to history, these people are known and remembered because the slave-owners were famous.

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