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DJ 'Calhoun' Review: The Nullifier's Mixed Legacy -2-

· 02/05/2021 11:15

Attempts to make Calhoun fit neatly into our current politics miss the message of this much-needed biography. Calhoun "belongs at the center of the stories we tell about our past," Mr. Elder writes. Ironically, Calhoun predicted that, if North and South ever split apart over slavery -- as they did a decade after his death -- future generations would tell a different story of our past, beginning with what he considered a disastrous error: the decision by Jefferson to include the words "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence. Those words, as Lincoln would say, laid a foundation for slavery's demise and marked the beginning of a country dedicated to principles more noble than we sometimes remember today.

--Mr. Horn is a former White House speechwriter whose most recent book is "Washington's End: The Final Years and Forgotten Struggle."

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 11:15 ET (16:15 GMT)

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