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John Brown, abolitionist : the man who killed slavery, sparked the Civil War, and seeded civil rights

by Reynolds, David S., 1948-

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John Brown, the controversial Abolitionist who used terrorist tactics against slavery, single-handedly changed the course of American history. This biography by critic and cultural biographer Reynolds brings to life the Puritan warrior who gripped slavery by the throat and triggered the Civil War. W... Full description

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Summary: John Brown, the controversial Abolitionist who used terrorist tactics against slavery, single-handedly changed the course of American history. This biography by critic and cultural biographer Reynolds brings to life the Puritan warrior who gripped slavery by the throat and triggered the Civil War. When does principled resistance become anarchic brutality? How can a murderer be viewed as a heroic freedom fighter? The case of John Brown opens windows on these timely issues. Reynolds demonstrates that Brown's most violent acts--his slaughter of unarmed citizens in Kansas, his liberation of slaves in Missouri, and his dramatic raid, in October 1859, on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia--were inspired by the slave revolts, guerrilla warfare, and revolutionary Christianity of the day. He shows us how Brown seized the nation's attention, creating sudden unity in the North and infuriating the South. He reveals the true depth of Brown's achievement: not only did Brown spark the war that ended slavery, but he planted the seeds of the civil rights movement by making a pioneering demand for complete social and political equality for America's ethnic minorities.
Item Description: Originally published: Knopf, 2005.
Physical Description: x, 578 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [507]-551) and index.
ISBN: 0375726152 (pbk.)
9780375726156 (pbk.)
0375411887
Author Notes: 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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