Richard Ruderman

Where and when

Summary: The greatest moral dilemma ever confronted by our self-governing
democracy was the question of what to do about the existence of slavery among
us. Even those who agreed that the answer was “End it!” disagreed as to when,
how, and with what ultimate place for the freed slaves. William Lloyd Garrison
and Frederick Douglass (himself an ex-slave), America’s most famous
abolitionists, offer two strikingly different approaches to the question. Our
study of them will help us to understand how to bring about the requisite moral
changes in a liberal democracy, what the Constitution contributed to such
changes, and what moral demands in general can be made in a liberal democracy.

Richard S. Ruderman is Associate Professor of Political Science at
the University of North Texas. He specializes in political philosophy and
American Political Thought. Dr. Ruderman’s essays on Aristotle, statesmanship,
Homer, and liberal education have appeared in the American Political Science
Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and elsewhere. His studies
of William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass will appear in History of
American Political Thought and Tempered Strength: Studies in the Nature and
Scope of Prudential Leadership. He is currently working on a book on
Statesmanship in Liberal Democracies. Dr. Ruderman received his Ph.D. in 1990
from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.