Executing Democracy by Stephen John Hartnett
Volume Two: Capital Punishment and the Making of America, 1835-1843 (Rhetoric & Public Affairs)

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This eye-opening and well-researched companion to the first volume of Executing Democracy enters the death-penalty discussion during the debates of 1835 and 1843, when pro-death penalty Calvinist minister George Barrell Cheever faced off against abolitionist magazine editor John O’Sullivan. In contrast to the macro-historical overview presented in volume 1, volume 2 provides micro-historical case studies, using these debates as springboards into the discussion of the death penalty in America at large. Incorporating a wide range of sources, including political poems, newspaper editorials, and warring manifestos, this second volume highlights a variety of perspectives, thus demonstrating the centrality of public debates about crime, violence, and punishment to the history of American democracy. Hartnett’s insightful assessment bears witness to a complex national discussion about the political, metaphysical, and cultural significance of the death penalty.


About Stephen John Hartnett

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Stephen John Hartnett is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado–Denver. He is the author of several books, including Democratic Dissent and the Cultural Fictions of Antebellum America, winner of the National Communication Association’s James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address.
Published November 1, 2012 by Michigan State University Press. 366 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Crime. Non-fiction

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