This book began as an exploration of the reasons why figurative, political slavery is written about so readily, with such intensity, rhetorical ingenuity, and, occasionally, theoretical rigor, in the English Revolution of the mid-seventeenth century, and again in the American and French Revolutions. The questions raised by this exploration led to others concerning how the Greeks and Romans used the term “slavery” as a figure for political oppression, and to asking how early modern humanists appropriated political “slavery” in addition to the barbarism with which it was often associated. The book addresses the questions posed by the author regarding how political slavery overlaps with personal slavery or its discursive conventions, which were not addressed by scholarship on classical and early modern political philosophy.
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