Paperback

$20.00
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Monday, September 24 , Order now and choose Expedited Shipping during checkout.

Overview

Dark Knowledge by Clifford Browder

New York City, late 1860s. When young Chris Harmony learns that members of his family may have been involved in the illegal pre-Civil War slave trade, taking slaves from Africa to Cuba, he is appalled. Determined to learn the truth, he begins an investigation that takes him into a dingy waterfront saloon, musty old maritime records that yield startling secrets, and elegant brownstone parlors that may have been furnished by the trade. Since those once involved dread exposure, he meets denials and evasions, then threats, and a key witness is murdered. Chris has vivid fantasies of the suffering slaves on the ships and their savage revolts. How could seemingly respectable people be involved in so abhorrent a trade, and how did they avoid exposure? And what price must Chris pay to learn the painful truth and proclaim it?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681143675
Publisher: Anaphora Literary Press
Publication date: 01/05/2018
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Dark Knowledge, the third novel in Clifford Browder's Metropolis series, tells how New York City was the center of the North Atlantic slave trade right up until the outbreak of the Civil War. To write it, Browder did extensive research at the New York Public Library and the library of the New York Historical Society, using primary sources whenever possible. Readers will come to know the sights and sounds and smells of the waterfront, the horrors of the slave ships and their crammed human cargo, the clever subterfuges with which those involved in the trade avoided exposure, and the violence of slave revolts. The Metropolis series includes two other historical novels, The Pleasuring of Men and Bill Hope: His Story. Browder has also published an award-winning selection of posts from his blog: "No Place for Normal: New York." He has never owned a television or a car, barely tolerates the computer (the feeling is mutual). Lately he learned the Charleston; geezers rock.

Anna Faktorovich is the Director and Founder of the Anaphora Literary Press. She is currently teaching college English at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Previously, she taught for three years at the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and the Middle Georgia State College. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature and Criticism. She published two academic books with McFarland: Rebellion as Genre in the Novels of Scott, Dickens and Stevenson (2013) and The Formulas of Popular Fiction: Elements of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Religious and Mystery Novels (2014). She published two poetry collections Improvisational Arguments (Fomite Press, 2011) and Battle for Athens (Anaphora, 2012). She also released two historical novels: The Romances of George Sand (2014), and The Battle for Democracy (2016). She published two fantasy novellas with Grim's Labyrinth Publishing: The Great Love of Queen Margaret, the Vampire (2014) and The Campaigns against the Olden: Kingdoms of Laruta (2014). She also wrote and illustrated a children's book, The Sloths and I (Anaphora, 2013). She has been editing and writing for the independent, tri-annual Pennsylvania Literary Journal since 2009, and started the second Anaphora periodical, Cinematic Codes Review in 2016. She has presented her research at the MLA, SAMLA, EAPSU, SWWC, BWWC and many other conferences. She won the MLA Bibliography, Kentucky Historical Society and Brown University Military Collection fellowships.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Dark Knowledge 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ReadersFavorite1 6 months ago
Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite Dark Knowledge by Clifford Browder is a historical fiction novel set in New York around the American Civil War era. Dark Knowledge is the story of Chris Harmony and his search for his family’s roots and secrets. Chris is a young man who has always been proud of and inspired by his family that has been in the shipping industry for the last three generations. After Chris’s father passes away, he comes across a chest with old shipping papers that motivate him to research and write about his family’s history, which he had been told was one of glory on the sea. However, as soon as his uncle hears of the plan, he tries to steal the chest. Chris manages to hold on to the chest and with the help of his sister, Sal, starts uncovering a wealth of lies and the ugly reality that his family, for generations, has in fact been involved in the slave trade and human trafficking of African-Americans. This is the story of Chris and his quest for the truth, with many surprises and twists and turns along the way. I enjoyed reading Dark Knowledge and Clifford Browder definitely managed to recreate the vibe and feel of that era so that I could almost smell the salty sea air and feel myself transported to that period. The characters are very well drawn, and in addition to Chris and Sal, who are fantastic, all of the other family members, former ship captains, etc. also have their own flavor and personalities. Sal is shown to be a smart and capable woman which I appreciated. But most of all, this is Chris’s story and Clifford Browder succeeds in highlighting the horrors of slavery through this book. This is great read!
ReadersFavorite 6 months ago
Reviewed by Diksha Sundriyal for Readers' Favorite Dark Knowledge by Clifford Browder tells the story of the Harmony family. The Harmony family members have been famous for their adventurous spirit and have a strong reputation as seafarers. However, Chris and his father didn’t inherit the endless drive for adventure, like the rest of their family. Chris had always been more interested in listening to the stories his grandfather had accumulated over the course of his voyages. Now, Chris wants to write a book on the history of the Harmony family with the help of the letters and other stuff left behind by his grandfather in a chest. While his uncle had initially shown disinterest in it, he now seems adamant to take these from Chris, by force or trickery. Trying to keep the contents of the chest hidden from his uncle, Chris starts reading his grandfather’s letters and discovers a dark truth about his family. Dark Knowledge is pretty much what its name suggests. Through the story of the Harmony family, Clifford Browder has created an interesting tale with a harsh truth at its heart. What happens when you realize that all you were told about your family is a lie. The story is filled with a wide of range of characters that further add to the drama. The writing style is fluid and you’ll glide through the book, turning one page after another. The intriguing plot is balanced by the witty lines and the good sense of humour of certain characters. It doesn’t shy away from addressing the social issues that have deep roots in our history. The appeal of this book has the potential to attract a wide variety of readers. All things considered, Clifford Browder’s Dark Knowledge is an entertaining read.
ladynicolai More than 1 year ago
I received this copy of the book from the author of Bill Hope, His Story [see the July 26, 2017, entry], I reviewed favorably in the past. This in no way influenced my review. Set in the years after the Civil War in New York City this book focuses on the Harmony family--a family who earned their money both from Captaining and from shipping itself. Chris Harmony is a history student who is interested in writing a history of the family, his grandfather Caleb Harmony, in particular. His grandfather was a legend and told him many tales when he was growing up about his exploits. When he died his chest of documents went to Chris's father who never got around to going through them and now he has just died leaving the task to Chris and his sister Sal. But his uncle Jacob wants the chest when he finds out about it and Chris's interest in digging around in the past. He and his son Dwight try to sneak it out of the house when they come over for Sunday dinner but Chris catches them and the chest stays in the house. What is worth all this trouble to hide from? Chris soon finds out his answer when Jacob's other son Rick comes back from his voyage at sea as a sailor to help him and Sal with the contents of the chest. It looks as though Grandpa Caleb might have owned slaver ships and sold slaves in Brazil and Cuba where it was still legal and possibly even New York where it was illegal. Also, that Jacob was involved too and that their dad owned a part of a slaver ship for a while and that he knew what they were up to and looked the other way. Dwight, under the guise of helping him, introduces him to the mysterious and charming Mrs. Louise Rivington who entertains men in a kind of salon for those in shipping. Her father was big in the industry and taught her much about shipping and investing. Chris hopes to get answers from her about some of the people whose names have come up in his investigations as well as the names of some ships. The help she gives him is interesting. This was an excellent book. I really enjoyed reading about the history of the American illegal slave trade. I learned quite a bit about that horrid practice right along with the characters of the book. Chris is quite innocent and a bit of a babe in the woods, but he is not a complete fool as he does not completely trust his cousin or uncle. His sister Sal is a delight to read as she is smart, fresh, sassy, and progressive for her times like taking up shooting lessons. Cousin Rick was another delightful character. He would breeze in shake things up and then sweep back out to sea again. Overall this novel is worth reading and I highly recommend it.
ladynicolai More than 1 year ago
I received this copy of the book from the author of Bill Hope, His Story [see the July 26, 2017, entry], I reviewed favorably in the past. This in no way influenced my review. Set in the years after the Civil War in New York City this book focuses on the Harmony family--a family who earned their money both from Captaining and from shipping itself. Chris Harmony is a history student who is interested in writing a history of the family, his grandfather Caleb Harmony, in particular. His grandfather was a legend and told him many tales when he was growing up about his exploits. When he died his chest of documents went to Chris's father who never got around to going through them and now he has just died leaving the task to Chris and his sister Sal. But his uncle Jacob wants the chest when he finds out about it and Chris's interest in digging around in the past. He and his son Dwight try to sneak it out of the house when they come over for Sunday dinner but Chris catches them and the chest stays in the house. What is worth all this trouble to hide from? Chris soon finds out his answer when Jacob's other son Rick comes back from his voyage at sea as a sailor to help him and Sal with the contents of the chest. It looks as though Grandpa Caleb might have owned slaver ships and sold slaves in Brazil and Cuba where it was still legal and possibly even New York where it was illegal. Also, that Jacob was involved too and that their dad owned a part of a slaver ship for a while and that he knew what they were up to and looked the other way. Dwight, under the guise of helping him, introduces him to the mysterious and charming Mrs. Louise Rivington who entertains men in a kind of salon for those in shipping. Her father was big in the industry and taught her much about shipping and investing. Chris hopes to get answers from her about some of the people whose names have come up in his investigations as well as the names of some ships. The help she gives him is interesting. This was an excellent book. I really enjoyed reading about the history of the American illegal slave trade. I learned quite a bit about that horrid practice right along with the characters of the book. Chris is quite innocent and a bit of a babe in the woods, but he is not a complete fool as he does not completely trust his cousin or uncle. His sister Sal is a delight to read as she is smart, fresh, sassy, and progressive for her times like taking up shooting lessons. Cousin Rick was another delightful character. He would breeze in shake things up and then sweep back out to sea again. Overall this novel is worth reading and I highly recommend it.