Virtual Conversation with Matthew Stewart

We are overjoyed to invite you to a conversation between Kimberly Daniels Taws and Matthew Stewart as they chat about his latest book Emancipation of the Mind: Radical Philosophy, The War Over Slavery and The Refounding of America. 


Registration is free and we hope that you will be able to join this conversation live. If you cannot be virtually present for the conversation, please sign up anyway and we will send a link to you so that you can listen or watch the conversation at your leisure.

Matthew Stewart is an independent philosopher and historian who has written extensively about the philosophical origins of the American republic, the history of philosophy, management theory, and the culture of inequality. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review, among other publications. In recent years he has lived in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles, and is currently based in London. Learn more about Matthew on his website

His many books are available for purchase on the bookshop website (see below) or in the store. Please call for more information 910.692.3211.

Emancipation of the Mind: Radical Philosophy, The War Over Slavery and The Refounding of America is a story about a dangerous idea--one which ignited revolutions in America, France, and Haiti; burst across Europe in the revolutions of 1848; and returned to inflame a new generation of intellectuals to lead the abolition movement--the idea that all men are created equal.


In their struggle against the slaveholding oligarchy of their time, America's antislavery leaders found their way back to the rationalist, secularist, and essentially atheist inspiration for the first American Revolution. Frederick Douglass's unusual interest in radical German philosophers and Abraham Lincoln's buried allusions to the same thinkers are but a few of the clues that underlie this propulsive philosophical detective story. With fresh takes on forgotten thinkers like Theodore Parker, the excommunicated Unitarian minister who is the original source of some of Lincoln's most famous lines, and a feisty band of German refugees, philosopher and historian Matthew Stewart tells a vivid and piercing story of the battle between America's philosophical radicals and the conservative counterrevolution that swept the American republic in the first decades of its existence and persists in new forms up to the present day.


In exposing the role of Christian nationalism and the collusion between northern economic elites and slaveholding oligarchs, An Emancipation of the Mind demands a significant revision in our understanding of the origins and meaning of the struggle over slavery in America--and offers a fresh perspective on struggles between democracy and elite power today.

Event date: 
Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event address: 
Southern Pines, NC 28387
An Emancipation of the Mind: Radical Philosophy, the War over Slavery, and the Refounding of America By Matthew Stewart Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324003625
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 26th, 2024

How a band of antislavery leaders recovered the radical philosophical inspirations of the first American Revolution to defeat the slaveholders’ oligarchy in the Civil War.

Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic By Matthew Stewart Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393351293
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 6th, 2015

Longlisted for the National Book Award. Where did the ideas come from that became the cornerstone of American democracy?

The 9.9 Percent: The New Aristocracy That Is Entrenching Inequality and Warping Our Culture By Matthew Stewart Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982114190
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 18th, 2022

A “brilliant” (The Washington Post), “clear-eyed and incisive” (The New Republic) analysis of how the wealthiest group in American society is making life miserable for everyone—including themselves.

In 21st-century America, the top 0.1% of the wealth distribution have walked away with the big prizes even while the bottom 90% have lost groun

The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World By Matthew Stewart Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780393329179
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 17th, 2007

"Exhilarating…Stewart has achieved a near impossibility, creating a page-turner about jousting metaphysical ideas, casting thinkers as warriors." —Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review