Not only were many of America's most prestigious colleges founded and supported by slaveholders, but the colleges also provided much of the scholarly and cultural basis of support for slavery. Historian Wilder documents the uncomfortable truth of the inextricable tie between slavery and the ivory tower, how venerable colleges, including Harvard, Princeton, William and Mary, Yale, and others, vied for the attention, land, sons, and money of plantation owners. Slavery provided financial support to the colleges and secure career prospects for many of their graduates, and many colleges owned slaves used for work, trade, and sale. What began for many universities as an ostensible mission of civilizing savages, Native Americans and Africans, later morphed into support for the establishment and development of colonies and territorial expansion. In the growing debate about slavery, abolition, and the movement to return Africans to Africa, prestigious universities and scholars helped to frame and address questions of theology, economics, medicine, history, and other areas of study in the growing debate around the issue, many legitimizing slavery and racism even as they benefited from it. This is a well-researched and revealing look at the connection between American academia and American slavery. Review from Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.