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Price of Liberty Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0807855164 ISBN-10: 0807855162

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (December 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807855162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807855164
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,468,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An engaging and thoroughly researched account of how just over 2,000 North Carolinian blacks left for Africa between 1820 and 1893 and of the role they played in the establishment of the nascent state of Liberia. . . . Brilliant."
-- Diaspora

"A welcome addition to the literature on the colonization movement . . . the most comprehensive and scholarly study that has yet been undertaken on the subject. . . . Essential reading for everyone interested in the colonization movement of Liberian history."
-- American Historical Review

The Price of Liberty is outstanding scholarship that richly captures the meaning, the hopes, and the tragedy of the colonization movement both in the United States and Liberia. (David S. Cecelski, author of The Waterman's Song: Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina)

In the first book to examine closely both the American background and the post-migration lives of a substantial number of Liberian emigrants, Clegg focuses on the experiences of over 2,000 black North Carolinians who traded the racial crisis in North Carolina for a new set of challenges facing them in Liberia.

This is a brilliant and fascinating account that has filled in many gaps. . . . The narrative has a deep human quality, depicting the real predicament that the option of colonization posed for black people. This book will definitely illuminate the Liberia story and enliven an important period of American history. . . . There is a lot that Liberians can learn from this work that should provide a context for reconciliation and reconstruction. (Amos Sawyer, Interim President of Liberia (1990-1994) and author of The Emergence of Autocracy in Liberia)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Weisman on May 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Professor Clegg tells the compelling story of freed African Americans who helped found Liberia, the West African country whose destiny, for better or for worse, has been intertwined with its 'stepchild-like' relationship with the United States. The book is well written and a fascinating read both for the specialist and the general reader. My only critique is that by focusing on one particular group of individuals, Professor Clegg sacrifices the proverbial forest for a tree, albeit in this case a most alluring tree. This book would best be read by someone who has first taken a look through a good political history of Liberia like the ones written by Professors Amos Claudius Sawyer, THE EMERGENCE OF AUTOCRACY IN LIBERIA (Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1992); Stephen Ellis, THE MASK OF ANARCHY (New York University Press, 1999); and John Peter Pham, LIBERIA: PORTRAIT OF A FAILED STATE (Reed Press, 2004).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Liotta Gianfranco on August 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book shows the terrific history of the making of Colony and therefore State of Liberia.
It is very well written, it is very deep in the field though, it can be a committing reading. Buy it if you want to have a well-written idea of what happened when the freed blacks of America decided (more or less freely) to go back "home".

It gives a perfect idea of the atmosphere during those days...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hans Frankfort on December 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very few African Americans on this side of the Great Pond know about the African American connection to the founding of Liberia in 1821...very sad. Liberia is still a forgotten colony and country by the United States who could have done more to help develop Liberia into a stable country. This book reinforces my historical knowledge of Liberia which was home for me during the seventies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Weisman on May 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Professor Clegg tells the compelling story of freed African Americans who helped found Liberia, the West African country whose destiny, for better or for worse, has been intertwined with its 'stepchild-like' relationship with the United States. The book is well written and a fascinating read both for the specialist and the general reader. My only critique is that by focusing on one particular group of individuals, Professor Clegg sacrifices the proverbial forest for a tree, albeit in this case a most alluring tree. This book would best be read by someone who has first taken a look through a good political history of Liberia like the ones written by Professors Amos Claudius Sawyer, THE EMERGENCE OF AUTOCRACY IN LIBERIA (Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1992); Stephen Ellis, THE MASK OF ANARCHY (New York University Press, 1999); and John Peter Pham, LIBERIA: PORTRAIT OF A FAILED STATE (Reed Press, 2004).
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This, along with Marie Tyler-McGraw's "An African Republic," and Eric Burin's "The Peculiar Solution," is one of only three purely scholarly treatments on Liberian history to come out in the last decade. Fortunately, all three works are excellent. The fundamental problem with "The Price of Liberty" is that it focuses too sharply on North Carolina rather than the nation as a whole. Of course, any attempt to cover the national sentiment toward Liberia and the American Colonization Society would be lengthy, however, the topic is not yet complete enough for such focused studies. Thus far, from the scholarly literature on the subject, we--the academic community--have two case studies on the ACS, Liberia, and the United States: Virginia and North Carolina. This, simply, is not enough. Although brilliant works such as "The Price of Liberty" are inherently valuable to the academic, and more general, community, they fall short of uncovering to full history and story of such an interesting movement in the United States. Professor Clegg writes fluently and clearly, and covers more ground than Tyler-McGraw, stretching from North Carolina, to Louisiana, to Liberia, and back again. But, unfortunately, he does not move far enough beyond North Carolina to complete the needed understanding of the American emigration movement, or the reality that was Liberia in between 1822 and 1847, and even after. Unfortunately there is no solid history of the AMERICAN understanding of Liberia's history, or even the LIBERIAN understanding of that extremely important international event. That said, "The Price of Liberty" does offer a brilliant scholarly look at that event from a pointed perspective. With works like this, and those of Tyler-McGraw and Burin, we take ever growing steps toward a more complete understanding of Liberia's importance not only in Africa and the African American community, but to the history of the United States as well. Unfortunately, though, we still have to wait for more.
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