"THE ONE AND ONLY NATION WHERE SLAVERY IS MAINTAINED… AND FOSTERED IN THE HEARTS OF THESE MODERN CHILDREN OF LIBERTY": FIRST EDITION OF MITCHELL'S TRUTH ABOUT AMERICA, 1860
MITCHELL J[ohn]. The Truth About America. The Electoral System of the United States: Its Mechanism and Workings. London: Longman, Green, Longman, & Roberts, 1860. Small octavo (4 by 6-1/2 inches), original gilt-stamped green cloth; pp. (1-3), 4-70. $2800.
First edition of the British journalist's pointed attack on the gulf between America’s Revolutionary ideals and the reality of slavery, targeting the two-party electoral politics of "a slippery country and slippery people," published with America poised at the brink of Civil War, in original gilt-stamped cloth.
19th-century British journalist John Mitchell, writing nearly 80 years after the American Revolution, takes a decidedly jaundiced view of what he describes as "a slippery county and slippery people." Published as America stood at the edge of Civil War, Mitchell's fiery work dispels any echoes of a sympathetic Tocqueville or Thomas Paine in his pointed dismissal of "this 'most Free' nation—this Light to lighten benighted Europe—maintaining Slavery in all the cruelty of olden times… the one only nation where Slavery is maintained by the same crushing tyranny… and fostered in the hearts of these modern children of Liberty."
Mitchell also takes aim at America's two-party electoral politics that "divide the whole of society… Elective Power does not reside in the people. It rests in the hands of two Organized Combinations—the one Republican, the other Democratic—who have their committees and sub-committees… this Election System, like most of the facts and institutions of America, is without a parallel." In his conclusion to this often fascinating work, Mitchell writes: "we can prescribe a remedy or a substitute for a decayed monarchy or aristocracy, or any similar kind of Political Absolutism but we know not how to deal with a rotten Democracy." Nisbet 1121. Early owner inscription.
Text very fresh, light rippling to bright gilt-stamped cloth. A handsome near-fine copy.