Black Hearts Of Men

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$26.67
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$20.09
(Save 29%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.82
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 83%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $4.82   
  • New (5) from $21.59   
  • Used (4) from $4.82   

Overview

At a time when slavery was spreading and the country was steeped in racism, two white men and two black men overcame social barriers and mistrust to form a unique alliance that sought nothing less than the end of all evil. Drawing on the largest extant bi-racial correspondence in the Civil War era, John Stauffer braids together these men's struggles to reconcile ideals of justice with the reality of slavery and oppression. Who could imagine that Gerrit Smith, one of the richest men in the country, would give away his wealth to the poor and ally himself with Frederick Douglass, an ex-slave? And why would James McCune Smith, the most educated black man in the country, link arms with John Brown, a bankrupt entrepreneur, along with the others? Distinguished by their interracial bonds, they shared a millennialist vision of a new world where everyone was free and equal.

As the nation headed toward armed conflict, these men waged their own war by establishing model interracial communities, forming a new political party, and embracing violence. Their revolutionary ethos bridged the divide between the sacred and the profane, black and white, masculine and feminine, and civilization and savagery that had long girded western culture. In so doing, it embraced a malleable and "black-hearted" self that was capable of violent revolt against a slaveholding nation, in order to usher in a kingdom of God on earth. In tracing the rise and fall of their prophetic vision and alliance, Stauffer reveals how radical reform helped propel the nation toward war even as it strove to vanquish slavery and preserve the peace.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review - Barry Gewen
The Black Hearts of Men is a story of politics, religion, sin, guilt, passion, murder and expiation. It begins in innocence and good intentions and ends in bloodshed and madness...Stauffer knows what he has with this remarkable story. He deftly outlines the thinking of his subjects, and is especially good at showing the links between their religious beliefs and their politics.
Choice - L. B. Gimelli
Stauffer intertwines the antislavery activities of Frederick Douglas, James McCune Smith, John Brown, and Gerrit Smith. These four men...were deeply religious reformers who first sought to utilize peaceful means to end slavery and promote racial integration in antebellum America. Failing to achieve these objectives, they adopted a militant position by organizing the Radical Abolition Party endorsing violence, justifying their actions in the name of righteousness...The book expands our knowledge of the changing nature of antislavery and antebellum reform as the nation approached the Civil War.
History - Fionnghuala Sweeney
The Black Hearts of Men is a richly interdisciplinary study, examining portraiture, literature, religion, intellectual biography, and the wider social and cultural context provided by antebellum America…Many avenues for further scholarship are suggested by this discussion…Stauffer does capture the potential for revolutionary change in the antebellum United States embodied in the radical abolitionists, and culminating in the state violence of the civil war. The work provides useful intellectual/political biographies of the key actors for the period of study, suggesting that their methods, motivations, and self-image were far from simple.
Choice
Stauffer intertwines the antislavery activities of Frederick Douglas, James McCune Smith, John Brown, and Gerrit Smith. These four men...were deeply religious reformers who first sought to utilize peaceful means to end slavery and promote racial integration in antebellum America. Failing to achieve these objectives, they adopted a militant position by organizing the Radical Abolition Party endorsing violence, justifying their actions in the name of righteousness...The book expands our knowledge of the changing nature of antislavery and antebellum reform as the nation approached the Civil War.
— L. B. Gimelli
History

The Black Hearts of Men is a richly interdisciplinary study, examining portraiture, literature, religion, intellectual biography, and the wider social and cultural context provided by antebellum America…Many avenues for further scholarship are suggested by this discussion…Stauffer does capture the potential for revolutionary change in the antebellum United States embodied in the radical abolitionists, and culminating in the state violence of the civil war. The work provides useful intellectual/political biographies of the key actors for the period of study, suggesting that their methods, motivations, and self-image were far from simple.
— Fionnghuala Sweeney

New York Times Book Review

The Black Hearts of Men is a story of politics, religion, sin, guilt, passion, murder and expiation. It begins in innocence and good intentions and ends in bloodshed and madness...Stauffer knows what he has with this remarkable story. He deftly outlines the thinking of his subjects, and is especially good at showing the links between their religious beliefs and their politics.
— Barry Gewen

History
The Black Hearts of Men is a richly interdisciplinary study, examining portraiture, literature, religion, intellectual biography, and the wider social and cultural context provided by antebellum America…Many avenues for further scholarship are suggested by this discussion…Stauffer does capture the potential for revolutionary change in the antebellum United States embodied in the radical abolitionists, and culminating in the state violence of the civil war. The work provides useful intellectual/political biographies of the key actors for the period of study, suggesting that their methods, motivations, and self-image were far from simple.
— Fionnghuala Sweeney
New York Times Book Review
The Black Hearts of Men is a story of politics, religion, sin, guilt, passion, murder and expiation. It begins in innocence and good intentions and ends in bloodshed and madness...Stauffer knows what he has with this remarkable story. He deftly outlines the thinking of his subjects, and is especially good at showing the links between their religious beliefs and their politics.
— Barry Gewen
Publishers Weekly
Two of the four "passionate outsiders" which would have been a better title presented here were black: Frederick Douglass and doctor-scholar James McCune Smith. Two were white: John Brown and philanthropist-reformer Gerrit Smith. Brought together at the inaugural convention of Radical Abolitionists in June of 1855, they formed an interracial alliance of a kind that would not be seen again until the civil rights movement. Harvard history professor Stauffer offers an account of these four lives joined for a historical moment by "their vision of a sacred, sin-free, and pluralist society, as well as by their willingness to use violence to effect it." Stauffer shows how the four worked together on temperance and feminist issues, party building and other political work along with their antislavery activities, exploring the practical and ideological glue that held them together. A splendidly illustrated excursion into the American fascination with daguerreotype shows the four using that form to further their public image, an image the 1859 raid on Harper's Ferry and its federal arsenal destroyed, along with all their careful bridge-building. Brown's Harper's Ferry raid was discussed beforehand by all the men, but the actual act dimmed the revolutionary fervor of all who remained Brown was executed and probably made for the first, albeit unofficial, casualties of the Civil War. While the author's plain style doesn't include much imagistic amplification of events, this book offers an intense look at the mechanics of freedom. Feb. 7 Forecast: The Unites States' violent internal conflicts over its values, via raids such as Brown's, can probably be better imagined now than at any time over thepast 50 years at least. This book will have its main audience via campus libraries and syllabi, but anyone thinking historically about the U.S. road to fuller civil liberty will find it fascinating. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Black abolitionists Frederick Douglass and James McCune Smith and white abolitionists John Brown and Gerrit Smith proclaimed that America would realize equality and freedom when white Americans acquired a "spiritual heart that was a black heart that shared a humanity with all people and lacked the airs of superiority of a white heart." Historian Stauffer (Harvard Univ.) examines the lives of these four radical abolitionists, who linked their personal faith and Bible politics to their public behavior and forged strong bonds of friendship based on racial equality and interracial identities, envisioning an America free of racial, gender, and class distinctions. More than an engaging history of antislavery, this volume, with its abundant use of primary sources, restores James McCune Smith and Gerrit Smith to their historical positions as preeminent radical abolitionists and pioneer fighters against racism. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.-Charles L. Lumpkins, Pennsylvania State Univ., State College Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A thoughtful work of history restores African-Americans to a central place in the abolitionist movement.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674013674
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/30/2004
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,429,669
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

John Stauffer
John Stauffer is Chair of History of American Civilization and Professor of English and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and the author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Introduction


The white man's unadmitted—and apparently, to him, unspeakable—private fears and longings are projected onto the Negro. The only way he can be released from the Negro's tyrannical power over him is to consent, in effect, to become black himself.

—James Baldwin, The First Next Time 1963


A few days after Christmas in 1846 the black physician James McCune Smith told his wealthy white friend Gerrit Smith what must be done to convince Americans of "the eternal equality of the Human race." "Good Government" would help, he said, particularly "Bible Politics" and its "first principle" of racial equality. But politics and government represented only the "outward sign" of "an inward and spirit-owned conviction." Before equality could be attained, there had to be a profound shift in American consciousness: "The heart of the whites must be changed, thoroughly, entirely, permanently changed," McCune Smith said. He went on to suggest that whites had to understand what it was like to be black. They had to learn how to view the world as if they were black, shed their "whiteness" as a sign of superiority, and renounce their belief in skin color as a marker of aptitude and social status. They had to acquire, in effect, a black heart.

    This book is about that moral shift. It focuses on James McCune Smith, Gerrit Smith, and their better-known comrades Frederick Douglass and John Brown, all of whom embraced an ethic of a black heart. Their story is remarkable. Together thesefour men, two black and two white, forged interracial bonds of friendship and alliance that were unprecedented in their own time and were probably not duplicated until well into the twentieth century. In a society pervaded by slavery and racism, they came together to seek equality for all people in their communities and throughout the country. They offered an alternative to an American dream that privileged white men over almost everyone else. As they transformed themselves and overcame existing social barriers, they reimagined their country as a pluralist society in which the standard of excellence depended on righteousness and benevolence rather than on skin color, sex, or material wealth. In one sense they were exemplars of the notion, now quite fashionable in the academy, that race, class, and gender are social constructs. In their time this was a radically new concept.

    The rise and fall of these four men's alliance occurred alongside the fragmentation of America from the panic of 1837 to Secession. While the nation virtually doubled in size and dramatically expanded its slave territory and slave population, these men experienced their own extraordinary self-transformations. They saw themselves as prophets preparing for a new and glorious age—a new America that would be free from sin and oppression. They embraced the idea of "sacred self-sovereignty," believing that the kingdom of God was within them and potentially within all individuals. And at a time when the country's two main political parties were fragmenting, they created their own political party. They became Radical Political Abolitionists, and viewed the government as sacred and the appropriate means for pursuing their millennium. But they were overcome by the lack of progress toward a just and moral society. The hearts of whites were not being changed, and they felt profoundly alienated from white laws and conventions that defended slavery and racial oppression. In their quest for a perfect society, they accepted righteous violence, which finally resulted in John Brown's disastrous raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, as part of a scheme to liberate the slaves. The event produced Brown's execution, sent Gerrit Smith to an insane asylum, and destroyed the very alliance that they had so courageously created. It also propelled the nation toward a brutal civil war that had been previewed in Brown's attack on Harpers Ferry and earlier in his efforts to keep Kansas safe from slavery.

    A number of other factors united these four men. They corresponded frequently and saw one another as often as possible. In fact they all lived in New York State during their alliance, three of them in upstate New York. They were more successful than any of their peers at collapsing racial barriers, as is revealed by their political and social alliance. And they were instrumental in shaping each other's self-definitions and reform visions. These lines of influence and interconnectedness are revealed in form as well as in content in the story line that unfolds in the following pages, which weaves together the four men's lives by highlighting one at a time. The overall effect is a kind of collective biography, a braiding together of four lives. Only by changing perspectives, listening to multiple voices from different social groups and vantage points, is it possible to understand how racial identifies get defined, blurred, and remade.

    Gerrit Smith is the lead protagonist. He is the tragic figure who ultimately loses himself and his black heart. He is also the primary thread linking the other three characters. Without him, this biracial quartet could not have existed, for it was through his initiative and generosity that the four men first came together. And without his penchant for saving the letters he received and making copies of those he wrote, their friendship would have been lost to posterity. Most of the letters among the four men run through Smith. The other three corresponded with him far more than they did among themselves. Gerrit Smith's correspondence with Frederick Douglass and James McCune Smith represents the largest extant biracial correspondence in antebellum America, and possibly in the nineteenth century. There are hundreds of letters between them in the Gerrit Smith Papers and the Frederick Douglass Papers, and hundreds more in Douglass' newspapers, providing the raw text of their friendship. As a land baron, Gerrit Smith was also the only character able to connect the world of wealth and power with that of Christian benevolence, militant abolitionism, and the marginalized status of the other three men. And his integrated village of Peterboro, in Madison County, New York, and the black settlement he helped establish at North Elba, New York which constituted John Brown's permanent residence from 1854 until his death, offer manageable settings in which to view the dynamics of race, religion, class, and gender at the levels of both self and society.

    Gerrit Smith, James McCune Smith, Frederick Douglass, and John Brown were in no way "representative" men in antebellum America, even though they were often defined as such by their admirers. They did, however, represent what was possible: they occupied an endpoint on the spectrum of "identity formation," and their self-conceptions and hopes for America depended upon their success in blurring and breaking down distinctions of race, religion, class, and gender. Although they stood apart from their peers in their efforts to imagine and realize a new America, their reform rhetoric resembled the poetic rhetoric of a number of romantic writers. Lord Byron, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson describe a similar quest for self-transformation and liberation from existing social codes, and the four abolitionists were either inspired by or otherwise connected to these literary figures. Treating their reform work as "art" and comparing it to the work of these more "traditional" artists enhance our understanding of the broader culture of dissent in America by revealing what kinds of protest were permissible, possible, even thinkable.


The story of this interracial alliance offers a number of new insights and perspectives on antebellum reform and the Civil War era. It shows how Americans from different social groups interacted and shaped each other's worldviews—something no other study of antebellum reform has done in depth. Additionally, the links between personal faith and behavior on the one hand and broader historical, political, and literary developments on the other hand have been inadequately addressed, especially among people from different social groups. In the case of this biracial quartet, these links produced an exceptional symbiosis that altered the course of American history, even though two of the characters Gerrit Smith and James McCune Smith slipped into an obscurity that itself obscured what they had accomplished.

    Together these men also highlight the dynamic interactions between race, religion, class, and gender among moral and social reformers. Beginning in 1933, when the historian Gilbert Barnes published his pathbreaking book on the religious roots of the abolition crusade, scholarship on antebellum reform has evolved from an emphasis on religion and reform to one on religion and class. The current emphasis on gender and race remains limited, for it downplays the diverse aspects of identity and personal behavior. Among these four men, religious belief was the single most important facet of their identities; it was the principal factor that allowed them to befriend and trust one another. Their understanding of God was inseparable from their understanding of themselves, their shared vision of America, and their ability to break down social barriers. The trend in recent scholarship has been to downplay questions of faith, and instead to question why racism and inequalities existed. But beliefs in freedom, equality, democracy, and the very idea that slavery was a sin were still relatively new concepts in the nineteenth century. These men's alliance shows how and why some blacks and whites were able to work together in an effort to overcome these barriers.

    As historical actors, Gerrit Smith and James McCune Smith have been downplayed or ignored, even though in their own time they were considered preeminent men. Contemporaries hailed Gerrit Smith as a world-renowned philanthropist and a central figure in reform, but he has received little attention since. Only two full-scale biographies of Smith exist: one was published in 1878, four years after his death, by his friend Octavius Brooks Frothingham; the other, which appeared in 1939, was by Ralph Volney Harlow, who treated his reform efforts as misguided at best and pathological at worst. Yet Smith's papers represent one of the richest collections on nineteenth-century reform, and they are also well indexed and organized. After researching Smith and talking with other historians and critics, I concluded that one reason he has been neglected is that his handwriting appears at first to be illegible—it almost brought tears to my eyes when I tried to read it. Fortunately, I was able to read Smith on microfilm, which allowed me to enlarge his writing by a factor of twenty or more, make copies, and compare words until I had mastered his hand.

    The absence of James McCune Smith in the historiographic and critical literature is even more striking. He was a brilliant scholar, writer, and critic, as well as a first-rate physician. In 1882 the black leader Alexander Crummell called him "the most learned Negro of his day," and Frederick Douglass considered him the most important black influence in his life much as he considered Gerrit Smith the most important white one. Douglass was probably correct when, in 1859, he publicly stated: "No man in this country more thoroughly understands the whole struggle between freedom and slavery, than does Dr. Smith, and his heart is as broad as his understanding." As a prose stylist and original thinker, McCune Smith ranks, at his best, alongside such canonical figures as Emerson and Thoreau. His essays are sophisticated and elegant, his interpretations of American culture are way ahead of his time, and his experimental style and use of dialect anticipate some of the Harlem Renaissance writers of the 1920s. Yet McCune Smith has been completely ignored by literary critics; and aside from one article on him, he has remained absent from the historical record.

    Although Frederick Douglass and John Brown have been analyzed at length, important aspects of their characters have been inadequately addressed. No one has emphasized the significance of Gerrit Smith, McCune Smith, and Brown in the development of Douglass' reform work. As a result, scholars have been reluctant to point out the militant and violent nature of his abolitionism in the 1850s. Additionally, historians and especially literary critics have tended to downplay Douglass' millennialist view of America and his self-conception as a prophet, thus ignoring the important links between his personal religious beliefs and his quest to transform his country.

    John Brown has typically been described as a thoroughgoing Puritan and Calvinist whose religious views never changed, and he is almost everywhere seen as having no interest in political action. Yet his religion and politics were far more dynamic than scholars have acknowledged, and they shed enormous light on who Brown was in the context of his society. Brown deviated from Puritan and Calvinist theology during the 1850s. He embraced sacred self-sovereignty, harbored perfectionist visions, and looked forward to a heaven on Earth and the end of all sin. Moreover, Brown's reform work in the 1850s was thoroughly political. He played a central role in the formation of the Radical Abolition party and in the development of his three comrades' militancy. Indeed, Brown's participation in the Radical Abolition party helped shape the course of American history. By miscasting Brown as an orthodox Puritan and nonpolitical militant, most scholars have not viewed Brown as he saw himself—as someone who identified so closely with blacks that he chose to live among them and was willing to sacrifice his life for their cause. In other words, they tend to see Brown simply as a white man, and do not take into account his ability to blur racial categories.

    Focusing on these men's interracial alliance also sheds light on the origins of a major shift in cultural and intellectual history—one that moved beyond an understanding of "character" as fixed and unchanging, based primarily on heredity and social status, toward a highly subjective notion of the self in a state of continuous flux. At the heart of this shift was an effort to reintegrate cultural dichotomies that had long been present in Western culture—those of black and white, body and soul, sacred and profane, ideal and real, civilization and savagery, and masculine and feminine. The idea of "whiteness" as a sign of superiority and as a justification for racial oppression depended in part on the belief in "character" as static and fixed. The gradual dismantling of these dichotomies relates directly to my characters' alliances and shared visions of America, their radical and ultimately revolutionary means to reform, and the corresponding shifts in their self-conceptions.


Excerpted from The Black Hearts of Men by John Stauffer. Copyright © 2001 by President and Fellows of Harvard College. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Radical Abolitionist Call to Arms 8
2 Creating an Image in Black 45
3 Glimpsing God's World on Earth 71
4 The Panic and the Making of Abolitionists 95
5 Bible Politics and the Creation of the Alliance 134
6 Learning from Indians 182
7 Man Is Woman and Woman Is Man 208
8 The Alliance Ends and the War Begins 236
Epilogue 282
Abbreviations 287
Notes 289
Acknowledgments 355
Index 359
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Stauffer Provides Insight into the Vision John Brown and his Cohort of Radical Abolitionists had for Fulfilling their Religious and Secular Desires to Emancipate American Slaves

    In The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race, John Stauffer examines how an interracial quartet of abolitionists seeks to motivate a nation to a paradigm shift on the issues of racial prejudice and slavery. The book takes the reader through the personal journeys of John Brown, Frederick Douglass, James McCune Smith, and Gerrit Smith as they set forth to destroy the notion of white supremacy. Stauffer deviates from his contemporaries' secular scholarship on this social movement and examines these men's Bible politics and their notion of racial inequality being counter to the plan for God's Kingdom. He chronicles both their faith and politics. Stauffer shows that four men from diverse backgrounds were able to work together because of their shared "beliefs in freedom, equality, democracy, and the very idea that slavery was a sin." (5)
    Despite the inclusion of copious notes, The Black Hearts of Men is written with a literary flair that makes it appealing outside of academia. The text opens with a radical call to arms examining the first, and likely only time, Brown, Douglass, McCune Smith, and Smith, were all together at one time: the inaugural convention of Radical Abolitionists in Syracuse in June 1855. Here Stauffer sets the cosmic stage for the quartet's attempts to change the minds of a nation. From the outset, Stauffer establishes that these men were not opposed to violence.
    These Radical Abolitionists were apocalyptic theorists who strived for a millennial kingdom on earth free of racial prejudice. They felt called by God to fight for the rights of their African brothers. They believed violence and blood shed were acceptable measures to attain the perfect kingdom. They utilize the Christian rhetoric of blood washing away sin to justify the means. Douglass's enthusiasm shows in his proclamation that the scar on his face, which resulted from a fight with his Master Covey, was the mark of God in the shape of a cross. (59) McCune Smith declared that Smith "must have been inspired by God" to provide land to free blacks. "To God be the glory, Who, through this human instrument [Gerrit Smith] has been pleased to open to us a 'land of promise' in the midst of the land of oppression."(144) Brown, Douglass, McCune Smith, and Smith clearly saw divine intervention in their abolitionary acts.
    While Brown, with varying degrees of support from the other, undeniably set in motion the panic and violence that led to the Civil War, the interracial quartet failed to shift the racial paradigm of the nation. Stauffer draws together the social climate, political players, and events that brought this interracial quartet together in an effort to change racial views and the forces that tore them apart. In the end only Brown and McCune Smith held true to their Biblical politics.
    Throughout the book Stauffer weaves together vignettes of each of the Radical Abolitionist's biography with concurrent events. He aptly ties together the whereabouts and philosophy of each man while bringing in other powerful abolitionists. This technique works to build a chronology and an understanding of Brown, Douglass, McCune Smith, and Smith in their own time. With the exclusion of the chapter on feminism, the book provides an evocative look at the transformation of four men's views, and their attempts to shape the views of others regarding slavery and racial prejudice.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)