The Old Man: John Brown at Harper's Ferry

Overview

“Truman Nelson’s biography of John Brown is a refreshing and eloquent corrective to the common misconceptions about the character and actions of this extraordinary American hero.”—Howard Zinn

On October 16, 1859, John Brown led a historic attack on the Harper’s Ferry Armory. Nelson narrates the incredible events that unfolded that day and explodes the conventional dismissal of John Brown as a fanatic, presenting him as a revolutionary who, at the cost of his own life, helped ...

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Overview

“Truman Nelson’s biography of John Brown is a refreshing and eloquent corrective to the common misconceptions about the character and actions of this extraordinary American hero.”—Howard Zinn

On October 16, 1859, John Brown led a historic attack on the Harper’s Ferry Armory. Nelson narrates the incredible events that unfolded that day and explodes the conventional dismissal of John Brown as a fanatic, presenting him as a revolutionary who, at the cost of his own life, helped bring an end to slavery.

After Brown’s execution, the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass said of him, “If John Brown did not end the war that ended slavery, he did at least begin the war that ended slavery. . . . Until this blow was struck, the prospect for freedom was dim, shadowy and uncertain. The irrepressible conflict was one of words, votes and compromises. When John Brown stretched forth his arm, the sky was cleared. The time for compromises was gone—the armed hosts of freedom stood face to face over the chasm of a broken Union—and the clash of arms was at hand. The South staked all upon getting possession of the Federal Government, and failing to do that, drew the sword of rebellion and thus made her own, and not Brown’s, the lost cause of the century.”

Truman Nelson (1911–1987) wrote many books, including The Surveyor and The Right of Revolution.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931859646
  • Publisher: Haymarket Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 324
  • Sales rank: 1,340,833
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.16 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author


Truman Nelson (1911-1987) wrote a number of historical novels, including The Surveyor and The Right of Revolution. Writer, historian, and activist Mike Davis is the author many books, including City of Quartz, The Ecology of Fear, The Monster at Our Door, and Planet of Slums. Davis teaches in the Department of History at the University of California at Irvine, and lives in San Diego.
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