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David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture) Hardcover – March 15, 2010
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Hodges . . . skillfully weaves the life of abolitionist David Ruggles into the larger history of black abolitionists. . . . [He] convincingly argues that historians should reconfigure Ruggles from the margins to the center of abolitionist studies. . . . Highly recommended.--Choice
[Hodges] does a fine job detailing Ruggles' accomplishments and the fervor with which he pursued them. . . . Hodges has done the historical community a great service.--Maryland Historical Magazine
Thanks to the efforts of Hodges, David Ruggles will no longer remain a largely unknown abolitionist but rather will be seen as having played a significant role in the struggle against the slaveholding South and the segregated North.--American Historical Review
William Lloyd Garrison lauded [David Ruggles's] contributions to the abolitionist movement. 'He deserves to be ranked among the benefactors of his race,' Garrison wrote. 'His biography remains to be written.' . . . Dr. Hodges has now written the book Garrison called for more than 150 years ago.--New York Times City Room Blog
Using a wealth of published materials and archival sources, Hodges masterfully places Ruggles within the wider world of nineteenth-century reform. . . . Hodges is able to uncover a brand of reform activism in the radical abolition community of New York previously hidden even to seasoned scholars. This volume will go a long way towards opening eyes to the importance of men like Ruggles in the struggle to overcome slavery and racism in nineteenth-century America." --Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
Mention American abolitionists and David Ruggles rarely comes to mind. . . . Graham Russell Gao Hodges goes a long way toward rectifying that oversight.--New York Times
Few scholars have examined the relationship between the Underground Railroad, abolition networks, and the broader currents of political and social change. Graham Hodges in David Ruggles . . . dramatize[s] these relationships by recovering [a] forgotten, heroic African-American whose actions helped create fault lines in the spread of Southern slavery.--The Wall Street Journal
Hodges contributes to a better understanding of antebellum black activism and to shaping a fresh synthesis regarding how abolitionism shook America to its core. . . . Essential for readers and scholars interested in antebellum America, the antislavery movement, black activists, or New York City history.--Library Journal starred review
Hodges has diligently mined the primary sources to bring David Ruggles into the light. The result is this fine book. . . . One wonders why it has taken so long for historians to give Ruggles his due. Thankfully Hodges has done so. . . . This is a benchmark biography.--Left History
A worthwhile and overdue biography, this is the only book-length work on one of the most influential black abolitionists of the antebellum period.--C. Peter Ripley, editor of The Black Abolitionist Papers
In this exciting story of New York African American activist David Ruggles, Graham Hodges paints a dramatic picture of the nineteenth-century struggle against slavery. This captivating and brilliantly written chronicle fuses the activities of the interracial radical abolition movement and the underground railroad in the northeast.--James Oliver Horton, coauthor of Slavery and the Making of America and coeditor of Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory