Slavery and the Founders is an academic history of slavery as it relates to the "founding fathers" of the United States of America. Finkelman argues that Thomas Jefferson and the Constitution protected slavery in the U. S. This stands in contrast to other historians who have said that the Constitution is either silent on the issue of slavery or against it; and that Jefferson, rather than being an anti-slavery crusader who could do little to change the system, actively protected slavery.
Finkelman backs his claims using evidence from remarks made by the menin the Constitutional Convention andpersonal writings and letters of the men. A substantial portion of the book is spent explaining how different articles of the Constitution are protective of slavery. The most current editions of the book examine the DNA evidence that has appeared which determines that Jefferson did, in fact, have an affair with one of his slaves.
Similar history books have been written which challenge the assumptions made by many who think they know U. S. history. It is the opinion of many historians, Finkelman included, that much of the history U. S. citizens learn in grade school is tainted by nationalism. The story of the United States, they argue, can be told in a way that portrays the country in a much more positive light than the reality of U. S. history would merit.