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Parker Pillsbury: Radical Abolitionist, Male Feminist

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Parker Pillsbury—one of the most important and least examined antislavery activists of the nineteenth century—was a man of intense contradictions. Was he a disruptive eccentric who lashed out at authority (proclaiming Lincoln the worst president in the nation's history) or a sensitive visionary committed to social justice? In the first full-length biography of this remarkable American, Stacey M. Robertson depicts a man who became a leading voice in the antebellum period. Crisscrossing the North for twenty-five ...
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Ithaca 2000 Hard cover New ed. New. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 256 p. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a ... return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

Parker Pillsbury—one of the most important and least examined antislavery activists of the nineteenth century—was a man of intense contradictions. Was he a disruptive eccentric who lashed out at authority (proclaiming Lincoln the worst president in the nation's history) or a sensitive visionary committed to social justice? In the first full-length biography of this remarkable American, Stacey M. Robertson depicts a man who became a leading voice in the antebellum period. Crisscrossing the North for twenty-five years, Pillsbury denounced slavery to all who would listen. In his travels, he often endured the violent rage of mob opposition, but he also received the passionate support of fellow advocates. Robertson's vivid portrayal of this itinerant agitator revises standard views of the antislavery movement by highlighting the interplay between activists such as Pillsbury and the national leadership, which they often challenged. She also reveals how Pillsbury—one of the nation's first male feminists—struggled to reject the notion of male dominance in his political philosophy, public activism, and personal relationships.The biography of a man devoted to justice and equality, this book places his motivations and experiences in the context of nineteenth-century social reform but never strays far from Pillsbury himself. His voice—irascible and fiery, whimsical and compassionate—offers a vivid reminder that history is the story of individual lives.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This account of Pillsbury's long and active life as a late nineteenth-century radical provides a retrospective on many concerns that remain with us today."—Vernon Ford, Booklist. January, 2000.

"Drawing on a wide range of documentary sources, Robertson has written the first book-length study of abolitionist field lecturer Parker Pillsbury. . . . The biography is principally suited to the scholarly researcher; academic libraries serving those interested in 19th-century reform movements should obtain this work. Upper level undergraduates and above."—Choice. July/August 2000.

"In the first book-length biography of this fascinating figure, Stacey M. Robertson . . . has told his story well. Thoroughly researched and clearly written, Robertson's study effectively links Pillsbury's twin concerns for black and women's rights in the United States and Britain."—Lawrence B. Goodheart, University of Connecticut at Hartford. The New England Quarterly, 73(3)

"Robertson's relatively brief book is compelling evidence that 'history,' as she asserts, 'is the story of individual lives.' Clearly, unique individuals such as Parker Pillsbury help illuminate history."—Tilden G.Edelstein, Wayne State University. The Journal of American History, March 2001

"This book . . . is well written, informative, often enjoyable. . . With respect to grassroots abolitionism, Pillsbury's name pops up in virtually every book on the antislavery movement. . . More interesting are the chapters dealing with Pillsbury's commitment to women's rights activism. At this point in the narrative, Robertson is at her best."—Leonard L. Richards, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Civil War History, Vol. 47, #2, 6/01

"Parker Pillsbury. . . is relatively unknown today. . . Stacey M. Robertson's well-written and scrupulously-documented biography is the first full-scale treatment of this important figure and is a welcome contribution to antislavery scholarship. . . Professional historians, antislavery enthusiasts, and students alike will enjoy this very readable study of Parker Pillsbury and his relationship to radical reform in the nineteenth century."—Anna M. Speicher, Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 21, No. 1

"Stacey M. Robertson. . . introduces us to Parker Pillsbury, one of the most radical and irascible of nineteenth-century social reformers, in this first book-length study of his long career. . . Well-researched and well-written."—Milton C. Sernett, Syracuse University. Journal of Southern History, Vol. 67, No. 4, November 2001

"In her thoroughly researched and well-written biography of Parker Pillsbury, Stacey M. Robertson explores the personality and career of a nineteenth-century perfectionist whom scholars have long considered a crank on the fringe of the abolitionist movement. . . She argues persuasively that he was also a sensitive visionary and a committed idealist who sincerely advocated social justice, often at great personal expense. . . This study is a welcome addition to the literature on nineteenth-century perfectionism. It sheds valuable light on the complex relationships forged within the radical wing of the abolitionist movement."—Hugh Davis, Southern Connecticut State University. American Historical Review, December 2001

"This fine rendering of Parker Pillsbury's life deserves a wide reading, not only for its compelling account of abolitionism as both a grass roots and an international movement but also for the valuable connections it illuminates between struggles for race and for gender equality."—James Brewer Stewart, James Wallace Professor of History, Macalester College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801436345
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Pages: 256
  • Lexile: 1640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.29 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 The Roots of Radicalism 5
2 Marriage, Family, and the Business of Reform 26
3 Masculinity and Women's Rights 47
4 Abolitionism Organized or Unorganized? 63
5 Grassroots Abolition 76
6 An American Abolitionist Abroad 91
7 Perfectionism and the Civil War 115
8 Imperfect Reconstruction 134
9 The Postbellum Quest for the Millennium 157
Notes 187
Index 227
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