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Barbara EhrenreichHow do we judge a man of such different times -- and temperament -- from our own? If the rule is that there must be some proportion between a violent act and its provocation, surely there could be no more monstrous provocation than slavery. In our own time, some may discern equivalent evils in continuing racial oppression, economic exploitation, environmental predation or widespread torture. To them, John Brown, Abolitionist, for all its wealth of detail and scrupulous attempts at balance, has a shockingly simple message: Far better to have future generations complain about your methods than condemn you for doing nothing.
— The New York Times