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The Thirteenth Amendment and American freedom : a legal history /

Main Author: Tsesis, Alexander.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : New York University Press, 2004
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Review by Choice Review

This is the second book on the Thirteenth Amendment to appear in the past four years, a quite remarkable coincidence since the last extensive monograph was published in a law review in 1974 and was little noticed. Michael Vorenberg's Final Freedom (CH, Jan'02, 39-3003) set a very high standard for a straightforward constitutional historical account, but only in its final chapter did it evaluate the amendment's subsequent history. Tsesis (Chicago-Kent College of Law) relies on Vorenberg's historical analysis but devotes more than half of his book to the implications of the amendment for constitutional theory as well as to an argument for the desirability of antidiscrimination litigation based on the Thirteenth rather than on the Due Process Clause or the Commerce Clause. Tsesis finds in the Thirteenth Amendment the capacity to reach private as well as public discriminatory actions. He tries to show that such litigation might prohibit states from official use of the Confederate logo, enable Congress to pass a national hate crimes law, and work to the advantage of the labor movement. Some readers will find his interpretation of the amendment altogether too broad, but this is a challenging and nicely written book that will teach well. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Most levels/libraries. S. N. Katz Princeton University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.