John Brown Speaks: Letters and Statements from Charlestown

 
9781442236707: John Brown Speaks: Letters and Statements from Charlestown
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This collection of writings by John Brown in the fateful days after his raid on Harper's Ferry showcase the depth of conviction of Brown's character. Paired with Louis DeCaro's narrative of the aftermath, trial, and execution of John Brown in Freedom's Dawn: The Last Days of John Brown in Virginia, this book preserves the first-hand experience of Brown as he gave his life for the abolitionist cause.

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About the Author:

Louis DeCaro, Jr., associate professor of history at The Alliance Theological Seminary in New York City, is the author of Fire from the Midst of You: A Religious Life of John Brown (2002) as well as works on Malcolm X and the urban church.

Review:

After being captured following his ill-fated 1859 raid at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, John Brown became an object of fascination throughout a union increasingly riven by the sectional crisis over slavery. Many northerners, not just abolitionists, saw Brown as a hero. Many white southerners even exhibited a degree of fascination mingled with horror at his aims. Historian DeCaro offers a thorough and valuable collection of Brown's letters and public statements from the nearly six-week period in which Brown was jailed in Charlestown, awaiting his execution for treason against the state of Virginia. DeCaro's editorial apparatus keeps the larger context of Brown's trial and the national debate in sight as the volume's scrupulously edited documents take center stage. One is taken on a fascinating tour of Brown's mental state, ideology, beliefs, and efforts to shape the meaning of his life and raid for posterity. Reminiscences from various visitors to Brown's cell, as well as interviews with antislavery and proslavery newspapers, reveal Brown's formidable intellect and will. This collection gathers an excellent array of primary sources for students of the Civil War era. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. (CHOICE)

Creating an invaluable collection of John Brown’s own words, Louis DeCaro brings to life the passion and perseverance of one of this country’s most dedicated freedom fighters. (John Stauffer, Harvard University; author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln)

John Brown Speaks is an illuminating documentary collection of this fiery abolitionist's words. Annotations and careful introductions contextualize the documents, allowing for a full picture of Brown’s time awaiting execution, and Brown’s compelling letters and Louis DeCaro’s carefully curated documents bring the historical moment to life. (Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz, Eastern Illinois University)

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