The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom

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The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom
Title The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom
Author
Publisher Doubleday
Release DateOctober 6, 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs
Total Pages 464 pages
ISBN 0385544006
Book Rating 4.7 out of 5 from 49 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

Gifted storyteller and bestselling historian H. W. Brands narrates the epic struggle over slavery as embodied by John Brown and Abraham Lincoln—two men moved to radically different acts to confront our nation’s gravest sin. John Brown was a charismatic and deeply religious man who heard the God of the Old Testament speaking to him, telling him to destroy slavery by any means. When Congress opened Kansas territory to slavery in 1854, Brown raised a band of followers to wage war. His men tore pro-slavery settlers from their homes and hacked them to death with broadswords. Three years later, Brown and his men assaulted the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, hoping to arm slaves with weapons for a race war that would cleanse the nation of slavery. Brown’s violence pointed ambitious Illinois lawyer and former officeholder Abraham Lincoln toward a different solution to slavery: politics. Lincoln spoke cautiously and dreamed big, plotting his path back to Washington and perhaps to the White House. Yet his caution could not protect him from the vortex of violence Brown had set in motion. After Brown’s arrest, his righteous dignity on the way to the gallows led many in the North to see him as a martyr to liberty. Southerners responded with anger and horror to a terrorist being made into a saint. Lincoln shrewdly threaded the needle between the opposing voices of the fractured nation and won election as president. But the time for moderation had passed, and Lincoln’s fervent belief that democracy could resolve its moral crises peacefully faced its ultimate test. The Zealot and the Emancipator is acclaimed historian H. W. Brands’s thrilling and page-turning account of how two American giants shaped the war for freedom.

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Title The Zealot and the Emancipator
Author H. W. Brands
Publisher Doubleday
Release Date 2020-10-06
Category History
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9780385544016
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Gifted storyteller and bestselling historian H. W. Brands narrates the epic struggle over slavery as embodied by John Brown and Abraham Lincoln—two men moved to radically different acts to confront our nation’s gravest sin. John Brown was a charismatic and deeply religious man who heard the God of the Old Testament speaking to him, telling him to destroy slavery by any means. When Congress opened Kansas territory to slavery in 1854, Brown raised a band of followers to wage war. His men tore pro-slavery settlers from their homes and hacked them to death with broadswords. Three years later, Brown and his men assaulted the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, hoping to arm slaves with weapons for a race war that would cleanse the nation of slavery. Brown’s violence pointed ambitious Illinois lawyer and former officeholder Abraham Lincoln toward a different solution to slavery: politics. Lincoln spoke cautiously and dreamed big, plotting his path back to Washington and perhaps to the White House. Yet his caution could not protect him from the vortex of violence Brown had set in motion. After Brown’s arrest, his righteous dignity on the way to the gallows led many in the North to see him as a martyr to liberty. Southerners responded with anger and horror to a terrorist being made into a saint. Lincoln shrewdly threaded the needle between the opposing voices of the fractured nation and won election as president. But the time for moderation had passed, and Lincoln’s fervent belief that democracy could resolve its moral crises peacefully faced its ultimate test. The Zealot and the Emancipator is acclaimed historian H. W. Brands’s thrilling and page-turning account of how two American giants shaped the war for freedom.

Dreams Of El Dorado by H. W. Brands

Title Dreams of El Dorado
Author H. W. Brands
Publisher Basic Books
Release Date 2019-10-22
Category History
Total Pages 496
ISBN 9781541672536
Language English, Spanish, and French
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"Epic in its scale, fearless in its scope" (Hampton Sides), this masterfully told account of the American West from a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist sets a new standard as it sweeps from the California Gold Rush and beyond. In Dreams of El Dorado, H. W. Brands tells the thrilling, panoramic story of the settling of the American West. He takes us from John Jacob Astor's fur trading outpost in Oregon to the Texas Revolution, from the California gold rush to the Oklahoma land rush. He shows how the migrants' dreams drove them to feats of courage and perseverance that put their stay-at-home cousins to shame-and how those same dreams also drove them to outrageous acts of violence against indigenous peoples and one another. The West was where riches would reward the miner's persistence, the cattleman's courage, the railroad man's enterprise; but El Dorado was at least as elusive in the West as it ever was in the East. Balanced, authoritative, and masterfully told, Dreams of El Dorado sets a new standard for histories of the American West.

Reagan by H. W. Brands

Title Reagan
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From master storyteller and New York Times bestselling Historian H. W. Brands comes the definitive biography of a visionary and transformative president In his magisterial new biography, H. W. Brands brilliantly establishes Ronald Reagan as one of the two great presidents of the twentieth century, a true peer to Franklin Roosevelt. Reagan conveys with sweep and vigor how the confident force of Reagan's personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. Reagan shut down the age of liberalism, Brands shows, and ushered in the age of Reagan, whose defining principles are still powerfully felt today. Employing archival sources not available to previous biographers and drawing on dozens of interviews with surviving members of Reagan's administration, Brands has crafted a richly detailed and fascinating narrative of the presidential years. He offers new insights into Reagan's remote management style and fractious West Wing staff, his deft handling of public sentiment to transform the tax code, and his deeply misunderstood relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, on which nothing less than the fate of the world turned. Reagan is a storytelling triumph, an irresistible portrait of an underestimated politician whose pragmatic leadership and steadfast vision transformed the nation.

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Title No Property in Man
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ISBN 9780674972223
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Book Summary:

Driving straight to the heart of the most contentious issue in American history, Sean Wilentz argues controversially that, far from concealing a crime against humanity, the U.S. Constitution limited slavery’s legitimacy—a limitation which in time inspired the antislavery politics that led to Southern secession, the Civil War, and Emancipation.

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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer comes the first effort to set the Cuban Missile Crisis, with its potential for nuclear holocaust, in a wider historical narrative of the Cold War--how such a crisis arose, and why at the very last possible moment it didn't happen. In this groundbreaking look at the Cuban Missile Crisis, Martin Sherwin not only gives us a riveting sometimes hour-by-hour explanation of the crisis itself, but also explores the origins, scope, and consequences of the evolving place of nuclear weapons in the post-World War II world. Mining new sources and materials, and going far beyond the scope of earlier works on this critical face-off between the United States and the Soviet Union--triggered when Khrushchev began installing missiles in Cuba at Castro's behest--Sherwin shows how this volatile event was an integral part of the wider Cold War and was a consequence of nuclear arms. Gambling with Armageddon looks in particular at the original debate in the Truman Administration about using the Atomic Bomb; the way in which President Eisenhower relied on the threat of massive retaliation to project U.S. power in the early Cold War era; and how President Kennedy, though unprepared to deal with the Bay of Pigs debacle, came of age during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Here too is a clarifying picture of what was going on in Khrushchev's Soviet Union. Martin Sherwin has spent his career in the study of nuclear weapons and how they have shaped our world. Gambling with Armegeddon is an outstanding capstone to his work thus far.

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Book Summary:

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Lincoln S Mentors by Michael J. Gerhardt

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Release Date 2021-02-02
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A brilliant and novel examination of how Abraham Lincoln mastered the art of leadership “Gerhardt has devised an ingenious solution for demystifying America’s most enigmatic president: examining the key people who influenced Lincoln as he developed his own unique skills and leadership style.” –Russell L. Riley, UVA’s Miller Center In 1849, when Abraham Lincoln returned to Springfield, Illinois, after two seemingly uninspiring years in the U.S. House of Representatives, his political career appeared all but finished. His sense of failure was so great that friends worried about his sanity. Yet within a decade, Lincoln would reenter politics, become a leader of the Republican Party, win the 1860 presidential election, and keep America together during its most perilous period. What accounted for the turnaround? As Michael J. Gerhardt reveals, Lincoln’s reemergence followed the same path he had taken before, in which he read voraciously and learned from the successes, failures, oratory, and political maneuvering of a surprisingly diverse handful of men, some of whom he had never met but others of whom he knew intimately—Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, John Todd Stuart, and Orville Browning. From their experiences and his own, Lincoln learned valuable lessons on leadership, mastering party politics, campaigning, conventions, understanding and using executive power, managing a cabinet, speechwriting and oratory, and—what would become his most enduring legacy—developing policies and rhetoric to match a constitutional vision that spoke to the monumental challenges of his time. Without these mentors, Abraham Lincoln would likely have remained a small-town lawyer—and without Lincoln, the United States as we know it may not have survived. This book tells the unique story of how Lincoln emerged from obscurity and learned how to lead.

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Release Date 2020
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Book Summary:

"ABE is a cultural biography of Abraham Lincoln, following Lincoln's monumental life from cradle to grave while weaving a narrative that includes Lincoln's cultural influences and the nation-wide and regional cultural trends and moods and happenings of his day, and how Lincoln both shaped and was shaped by his America. The music, humor, literature, and fashions of the time and their impact on Lincoln's life are explored as well, and analysis of other important figures such as Lincoln's wife, his assassin, his professional partners, etc., also draw on this culturally focused style"--

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On October 16, 1859, John Brown and his band of eighteen raiders descended on Harpers Ferry in an ill-fated attempt to incite a slave insurrection. The raiders were routed, and several were captured. Soon after, they were tried, convicted, and hanged. Among Brown's fighters were five African American men—John Copeland, Shields Green, Dangerfield Newby, Lewis Leary, and Osborne Perry Anderson—whose lives and deaths have long been overshadowed by their martyred leader. Only Anderson survived, later publishing the lone insider account of the event. Five for Freedom is the story of these five brave men, the circumstances in which they were born and raised, how they came together at this fateful time and place, and the legacies they left behind. It is an American story that continues to resonate in the present.

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An authoritative new examination of John Brown and his deep impact on American history.Bancroft Prize-winning cultural historian David S. Reynolds presents an informative and richly considered new exploration of the paradox of a man steeped in the Bible but more than willing to kill for his abolitionist cause. Reynolds locates Brown within the currents of nineteenth-century life and compares him to modern terrorists, civil-rights activists, and freedom fighters. Ultimately, he finds neither a wild-eyed fanatic nor a Christ-like martyr, but a passionate opponent of racism so dedicated to eradicating slavery that he realized only blood could scour it from the country he loved. By stiffening the backbone of Northerners and showing Southerners there were those who would fight for their cause, he hastened the coming of the Civil War. This is a vivid and startling story of a man and an age on the verge of calamity.

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Title Abraham Lincoln
Author Michael Burlingame
Publisher JHU Press
Release Date 2013-04-01
Category History
Total Pages 1048
ISBN 9781421410685
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Burlingame interprets Lincoln’s private life, discussing his marriage to Mary Todd, the untimely death of his son Willie to disease in 1862, and his recurrent anguish over the enormous human costs of the war.

Title The Crooked Path to Abolition Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution
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Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date 2021-01-12
Category History
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781324005865
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An award-winning scholar uncovers the guiding principles of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies. The long and turning path to the abolition of American slavery has often been attributed to the equivocations and inconsistencies of antislavery leaders, including Lincoln himself. But James Oakes’s brilliant history of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies reveals a striking consistency and commitment extending over many years. The linchpin of antislavery for Lincoln was the Constitution of the United States. Lincoln adopted the antislavery view that the Constitution made freedom the rule in the United States, slavery the exception. Where federal power prevailed, so did freedom. Where state power prevailed, that state determined the status of slavery, and the federal government could not interfere. It would take state action to achieve the final abolition of American slavery. With this understanding, Lincoln and his antislavery allies used every tool available to undermine the institution. Wherever the Constitution empowered direct federal action—in the western territories, in the District of Columbia, over the slave trade—they intervened. As a congressman in 1849 Lincoln sponsored a bill to abolish slavery in Washington, DC. He reentered politics in 1854 to oppose what he considered the unconstitutional opening of the territories to slavery by the Kansas–Nebraska Act. He attempted to persuade states to abolish slavery by supporting gradual abolition with compensation for slaveholders and the colonization of free Blacks abroad. President Lincoln took full advantage of the antislavery options opened by the Civil War. Enslaved people who escaped to Union lines were declared free. The Emancipation Proclamation, a military order of the president, undermined slavery across the South. It led to abolition by six slave states, which then joined the coalition to affect what Lincoln called the "King’s cure": state ratification of the constitutional amendment that in 1865 finally abolished slavery.

The Three Cornered War by Megan Kate Nelson

Title The Three Cornered War
Author Megan Kate Nelson
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Release Date 2021-02-16
Category History
Total Pages 352
ISBN 9781501152559
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A dramatic, riveting, and “fresh look at a region typically obscured in accounts of the Civil War. American history buffs will relish this entertaining and eye-opening portrait” (Publishers Weekly). Megan Kate Nelson “expands our understanding of how the Civil War affected Indigenous peoples and helped to shape the nation” (Library Journal, starred review), reframing the era as one of national conflict—involving not just the North and South, but also the West. Against the backdrop of this larger series of battles, Nelson introduces nine individuals: John R. Baylor, a Texas legislator who established the Confederate Territory of Arizona; Louisa Hawkins Canby, a Union Army wife who nursed Confederate soldiers back to health in Santa Fe; James Carleton, a professional soldier who engineered campaigns against Navajos and Apaches; Kit Carson, a famous frontiersman who led a regiment of volunteers against the Texans, Navajos, Kiowas, and Comanches; Juanita, a Navajo weaver who resisted Union campaigns against her people; Bill Davidson, a soldier who fought in all of the Confederacy’s major battles in New Mexico; Alonzo Ickis, an Iowa-born gold miner who fought on the side of the Union; John Clark, a friend of Abraham Lincoln’s who embraced the Republican vision for the West as New Mexico’s surveyor-general; and Mangas Coloradas, a revered Chiricahua Apache chief who worked to expand Apache territory in Arizona. As we learn how these nine charismatic individuals fought for self-determination and control of the region, we also see the importance of individual actions in the midst of a larger military conflict. Based on letters and diaries, military records and oral histories, and photographs and maps from the time, “this history of invasions, battles, and forced migration shapes the United States to this day—and has never been told so well” (Pulitzer Prize–winning author T.J. Stiles).

Title The Last American Aristocrat
Author David S. Brown
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2020-11-24
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9781982128258
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A revelatory biography of literary icon Henry Adams—one of America’s most prominent writers and intellectuals of his era, who witnessed and contributed to America’s dramatic transition from “colonial” to “modern.” Henry Adams is perhaps the most eclectic, accomplished, and important American writer of his time. His autobiography and modern classic The Education of Henry Adams was widely considered one of the best English-language nonfiction books of the 20th century. The last member of his distinguished family—after great-grandfather John Adams, and grandfather John Quincy Adams—to gain national attention, he is remembered today as an historian, a political commentator, and a memoirist. Now, historian David Brown sheds light on the brilliant yet under-celebrated life of this major American intellectual. Adams not only lived through the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution but he met Abraham Lincoln, bowed before Queen Victoria, and counted powerful figures, including Secretary of State John Hay, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and President Theodore Roosevelt as friends and neighbors. His observations of these men and their policies in his private letters provide a penetrating assessment of Gilded Age America on the cusp of the modern era. The Last American Aristocrat details Adams’s relationships with his wife (Marian “Clover” Hooper) and, following her suicide, Elizabeth Cameron, the young wife of a senator and part of the famous Sherman clan from Ohio. Henry Adams’s letters—thousands of them—demonstrate his struggles with depression, familial expectations, and reconciling with his unwanted widower’s existence. Presenting intimate and insightful details of a fascinating and unusual American life and a new window on nineteenth century US history, The Last American Aristocrat shows us a more “modern” and “human” Henry Adams than ever before.

The War Before The War by Andrew Delbanco

Title The War Before the War
Author Andrew Delbanco
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2018-11-06
Category History
Total Pages 480
ISBN 9780525560302
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Excellent...stunning."—Ta-Nehisi Coates The devastating story of how fugitive slaves drove the nation to Civil War A New York Times Notable Book Selection * Winner of the Mark Lynton History Prize* Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award * A New York Times Critics' Best Book For decades after its founding, America was really two nations--one slave, one free. There were many reasons why this composite nation ultimately broke apart, but the fact that enslaved black people repeatedly risked their lives to flee their masters in the South in search of freedom in the North proved that the "united" states was actually a lie. Fugitive slaves exposed the contradiction between the myth that slavery was a benign institution and the reality that a nation based on the principle of human equality was in fact a prison-house in which millions of Americans had no rights at all. By awakening northerners to the true nature of slavery, and by enraging southerners who demanded the return of their human "property," fugitive slaves forced the nation to confront the truth about itself. By 1850, with America on the verge of collapse, Congress reached what it hoped was a solution-- the notorious Compromise of 1850, which required that fugitive slaves be returned to their masters. Like so many political compromises before and since, it was a deal by which white Americans tried to advance their interests at the expense of black Americans. Yet the Fugitive Slave Act, intended to preserve the Union, in fact set the nation on the path to civil war. It divided not only the American nation, but also the hearts and minds of Americans who struggled with the timeless problem of when to submit to an unjust law and when to resist. The fugitive slave story illuminates what brought us to war with ourselves and the terrible legacies of slavery that are with us still.

Title Last Days of John Brown The Abolitionist
Author Doris Starks
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2020-03-30
Category
Total Pages 52
ISBN 164826543X
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

John Brown, the abolitionist, is a historical figure that some describe as a prophet and others call a domestic terrorist. His raid on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry and subsequent hanging in 1859 preceded the American Civil War by 16 months. This story looks at events largely from Brown's own perspective. The reader can decide whether he was a terrorist or prophet.

Tecumseh And The Prophet by Peter Cozzens

Title Tecumseh and the Prophet
Author Peter Cozzens
Publisher Knopf
Release Date 2020
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 560
ISBN 9781524733254
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"The ... story of the Shawnee brothers who led the last great pan-Indian confederacy against the United States"--

Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz

Title Midnight Rising
Author Tony Horwitz
Publisher Henry Holt and Company
Release Date 2011-10-25
Category History
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781429996983
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011 A Library Journal Top Ten Best Books of 2011 A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011 Bestselling author Tony Horwitz tells the electrifying tale of the daring insurrection that put America on the path to bloody war Plotted in secret, launched in the dark, John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry was a pivotal moment in U.S. history. But few Americans know the true story of the men and women who launched a desperate strike at the slaveholding South. Now, Midnight Rising portrays Brown's uprising in vivid color, revealing a country on the brink of explosive conflict. Brown, the descendant of New England Puritans, saw slavery as a sin against America's founding principles. Unlike most abolitionists, he was willing to take up arms, and in 1859 he prepared for battle at a hideout in Maryland, joined by his teenage daughter, three of his sons, and a guerrilla band that included former slaves and a dashing spy. On October 17, the raiders seized Harpers Ferry, stunning the nation and prompting a counterattack led by Robert E. Lee. After Brown's capture, his defiant eloquence galvanized the North and appalled the South, which considered Brown a terrorist. The raid also helped elect Abraham Lincoln, who later began to fulfill Brown's dream with the Emancipation Proclamation, a measure he called "a John Brown raid, on a gigantic scale." Tony Horwitz's riveting book travels antebellum America to deliver both a taut historical drama and a telling portrait of a nation divided—a time that still resonates in ours.

Title Allies For Freedom Blacks On John Brown
Author Benjamin Quarles
Publisher Da Capo Press
Release Date 2001-02-08
Category History
Total Pages 456
ISBN 0306809613
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

John Brown is an endlessly fascinating historical figure. Here are two classic studies by a pioneer in African American studies, one about the place of John Brown in African American history, the other about the reasons for the unique esteem in which he has been held by successive generations of blacks.This two-in-one edition features a new introduction by William S. McFeely, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Grant: A Biography.

Patriotic Treason by Evan Carton

Title Patriotic Treason
Author Evan Carton
Publisher U of Nebraska Press
Release Date 2009-04-01
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 386
ISBN 0803219466
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A portrait of the American abolitionist offers insight into his enigmatic personality, covering such topics as his friendships with African-American contemporaries, his twenty children by two wives, and his willingness to resort to extremist methods.

Title The Struggles of John Brown Russwurm
Author Winston James
Publisher NYU Press
Release Date 2010-08-30
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 288
ISBN 0814743145
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“If I know my own heart, I can truly say, that I have not a selfish wish in placing myself under the patronage of the [American Colonization] Society; usefulness in my day and generation, is what I principally court.” “Sensible then, as all are of the disadvantages under which we at present labour, can any consider it a mark of folly, for us to cast our eyes upon some other portion of the globe where all these inconveniences are removed where the Man of Colour freed from the fetters and prejudice, and degradation, under which he labours in this land, may walk forth in all the majesty of his creation—a new born creature—a Free Man!” —John Brown Russwurm, 1829. John Brown Russwurm (1799-1851) is almost completely missing from the annals of the Pan-African movement, despite the pioneering role he played as an educator, abolitionist, editor, government official, emigrationist and colonizationist. Russwurm’s life is one of “firsts”: first African American graduate of Maine’s Bowdoin College; co-founder of Freedom’s Journal, America’s first newspaper to be owned, operated, and edited by African Americans; and, following his emigration to Africa, first black governor of the Maryland section of Liberia. Despite his accomplishments, Russwurm struggled internally with the perennial Pan-Africanist dilemma of whether to go to Africa or stay and fight in the United States, and his ordeal was the first of its kind to be experienced and resolved before the public eye. With this slim, accessible biography of Russwurm, Winston James makes a major contribution to the history of black uplift and protest in the Early American Republic and the larger Pan-African world. James supplements the biography with a carefully edited and annotated selection of Russwurm’s writings, which vividly demonstrate the trajectory of his political thinking and contribution to Pan-Africanist thought and highlight the challenges confronting the peoples of the African Diaspora. Though enormously rich and powerfully analytical, Russwurm’s writings have never been previously anthologized. The Struggles of John Brown Russwurm is a unique and unparalleled reflection on the Early American Republic, the African Diaspora and the wider history of the times. An unblinking observer of and commentator on the condition of African Americans as well as a courageous fighter against white supremacy and for black emancipation, Russwurm’s life and writings provide a distinct and articulate voice on race that is as relevant to the present as it was to his own lifetime.

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