To Purge This Land With Blood: A Biography of John Brown

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9780060132316: To Purge This Land With Blood: A Biography of John Brown

Nearly one hundred fifty years after his epochal Harpers Ferry raid to free the slaves, John Brown is still one of the most controversial figures in American history. In 1970, Stephen B. Oates wrote what has come to be recognized as the definitive biography of Brown, a balanced assessment that captures the man in all his complexity. The book is now back in print in an updated edition with a new prologue by the author.

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About the Author:

Stephen B. Oates is Paul Murray Kendall Professor of Biography at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His most recent book is A Woman of Valor: Clara Barton and the Civil War. His other books include With Malice Toward None: The Life of Abraham Lincoln; Let the Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr.; and Our Fiery Trial; Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, and the Civil War Era. He is the editor of Biography as High Adventure: Life Writers Speak on Their Art.

Review:

"The most objective and absorbing biography of John Brown ever written. Its title captures perfectly Brown's own conception of his role in the antislavery crusade. Oates describes with subtlety and detail John Brown's early career, his struggles with poverty, illness, and death, the desperate straits the man was put to in support of his large family of twenty children. . . . To Oates's credit he describes John Brown's crimes [at Pottawatomie Creek] as unflinchingly as he describes his hardships."?New York Review of Books

"Brown's life was filled with drama, and Oates tells his story in a manner so engrossing that the book reads like a novel, despite the fact that it is extensively documented and researched."?Eric Foner, New York Times Book Review

"A major work, based on research in a wide variety of sources, including some manuscript collections not available to previous biographers. It is a full-scale biography that treats in detail Brown's career before he went to Kansas and his actions in that territory, as well as the blazing climax at Harpers Ferry."?Saturday Review

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