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    "If the house is to be set in order, one cannot begin with the present; he must begin with the past." -- John Hope Franklin

    John Hope Franklin. From Slavery to Freedom, A History of the American Negroes. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1947.

    First edition. Signed by Franklin on the title page. Octavo. xv, 622, xlii pages. Illustrations. Bibliographical notes. Index.

    Publisher's gilt- and blind-stamped black cloth; top edge stained pale green. Dust jacket has minor chipping to spine ends and corners, a couple of short tears, minor rubbing, and some foxing to rear panel. A near fine copy of a classic work on African-American history.

    John Hope Franklin (1915-2009), the grandson of a slave owned by Indians, grew up in the all-black town of Rentiesville, Oklahoma, even though his parents, a lawyer and a schoolteacher, were both ardent integrationists. Franklin graduated from Fisk University, received his doctorate from Harvard, and soon thereafter launched a stellar career as historian, author, and educator.

    John Hope Franklin was a remarkably influential historian whose books as well as his important work with the major civil rights figures of the twentieth century, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Thurgood Marshall (with whom he worked on the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case), assure him a place as a key figure in the African-American civil rights movement. In 1995 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

    Franklin published his remarkable, groundbreaking work, From Slavery to Freedom, in 1947. This survey of the black experience in America has sold more than three million copies and remains in print today, continuing to inform and inspire generations of new readers. Robert W. Fogel, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, called the book "a landmark in the interpretation of American civilization." Franklin, the grandson of slaves, died only last year, at the age of 94, having lived to see the election of America's first black president, an event he proclaimed "one of the most historic moments - if not the most historic moment - in the history of the country."

    Rarely seen in the first edition, this copy, signed as it is by the author, a man The Washington Post called "one of the most remarkable Americans of the 20th century," is rarer still. It is, quite simply, a classic work, profoundly important, not only in respect to the history of African-Americans, but important also to the history of the whole of the United States and its ongoing struggle with race and equality.

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