This book is an abridged edition, with some minor revisions, of The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics ( Oxford University Press, 1978). In order to retain as much of the original text as possible within the desired limit on total length, it has seemed advisable to dispense with documentation entirely. Anyone who wants badly to know the authority for a particular statement or the source of a particular quotation can find it, with just a little trouble, in The Dred Scott Case. Footnotes aside, this abridgment is approximately half the length of the original volume but incorporates all of its chapters and major themes. I have cut much illustrative and collateral material and have found it disconcertingly easy to make stylistic economies. The result is a book less rich in detail but more to the point-- suitable, I hope, for academic use and for the enlightenment of the general reader.
Again I acknowledge with gratitude the help of Charles Lofgren, Carl N. Degler, Walter Ehrlich, Robert W. Johannsen, William M. Wiecek, Carol Clifford, Virginia Fehrenbacher, and Sheldon Meyer and the editorial staff of Oxford University Press. Also Green Library, the Law School Library, the Institute of American History, and the office staff of the Department of History at Stanford University; the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Library of the United States Supreme Court, the