John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jul 29, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 594 pages
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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User Review  - greeniezona - LibraryThing

Being born and raised in Kansas, it is perhaps no surprise that I've always thought the struggle for Kansas's status as a free or slave state was a significant part of what brought about the Civil War ... Read full review

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User Review  - Journey21 - LibraryThing

I read this very fine book written by David Reynolds. I won't repeat what others have said in an effort to tell the story. Instead, I prefer to share my reactions. About John Brown, the author penned ... Read full review

Contents

The Party
3
The Puritan
14
The Pioneer
29
The Patriarch
40
The Pauper
66
The Plan
95
Pottawatomie
138
Pariah and Legend
179
Preparation
288
Problems
309
Pilloried Prosecuted and Praised
334
The Passion
370
Positions and Politics
402
The Prophet
438
Posterity
480
Notes
507

The Promoter 2
219
Plotting Multiculturally
239
Practice
268
Acknowledgments
553
Index
555
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About the author (2009)

David S. Reynolds is Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at the Graduate Center and Baruch College of the City University of New York. He received his B.A. from Amherst College and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught at Rutgers University, New York University, Barnard College, and Northwestern University. His Walt Whitman's America won the Bancroft Prize, the Ambassador Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Beneath the American Renaissance won Phi Beta Kappa's Christian Gauss.

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