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The Indomitable George Washington Fields: From Slave to Attorney Paperback – June 9, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1490335625
  • ISBN-13: 978-1490335629
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,631,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"a fascinating book that not only uncovers an unsung hero, it allows the historian and the incidental reader to witness the evolution of a mind. It is truly amazing to read of Mr. Fields' slave life and how a boy so completely unlearned rose above his shocking circumstances and became a man of letters, reputation and considerable power.

"a gem of a book that should flourish across many academic landscapes: perfect in social studies or citizenship classes [and] in early law classes. A great addition to any historian's library." - New York Journal of Books

About the Author

Kevin M. Clermont is now the Ziff Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, he also attended law school in France as a Fulbright Scholar. Next there was a judicial clerkship and practice on Wall Street, before entry into teaching at Cornell. His field is civil procedure, with a specialty in international litigation. Professor Clermont has published extensively, including coauthoring books both on introduction to law and on civil procedure——Law for Society: Nature, Functions, and Limits (2010) and Materials for a Basic Course in Civil Procedure (10th ed. 2010).

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Customer Reviews

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I read this book while on vacation, and really enjoyed it.
michie_sd
Clermont's scholarly introduction, including the amazing story of how Fields was first identified and Fields' slave narrative was found, is enormously engaging.
Aviva A. Orenstein
I live in the part of Virginia where this story originates and the images it evokes are quite powerful.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By George B.Kirsch on June 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Kevin M. Clermont, the Ziff Professor of Law at Cornell Law School and a specialist in civil procedure, has provided a treasure for both scholars and the vast audience of readers who share a passion for books about slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. In The Indomitable George Washington Fields Clermont applies ingenious detective work and extensive research to tell the story of an obscure but remarkable African-American attorney. Born in 1854 as a slave in Hanover County, Virginia, in 1863, Fields, his heroic mother, and several siblings escaped to Union territory. He and his family then labored to support themselves during and after the final years of the war. After the renewal of peace he earned a degree at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute and later moved to the North. There he found employment as a butler to Governor Alonzo Cornell of New York, the son of Cornell University's founder, who encouraged Fields to enroll in Cornell's new law school. Fields followed his advice, becoming Cornell's first black law school alumnus as well as its only graduate who had been a slave. He spent the remainder of his life as an attorney, building and maintaining a successful legal practice despite being blinded in 1896.

Clermont's introduction and annotation includes biographical and contextual information that illuminate Fields's eventful and exciting life, but the most valuable part of this book is Fields's autobiography. Clermont located it in manuscript form in a Virginia museum and has edited it for academic and lay readers. Both groups will find that it has an abundance of fascinating material, including much evidence that supports revisionist interpretations of slavery and African-American life before, during, and after the Civil War.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a Cornell alumni, I loved reading the history of an incredible person from a challenging time. Glad to see how the power and spirit of the human psyche can overcome mountains.
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By M. Johnson on September 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I grew up in the Tidewater area and attended Hampton University so to read about how my school contributed to making men like George and his brother James Fields is heart warming.
The book has several historical references that explain layout of the land around Fortress Monroe(now known as Fort Monroe)..including downtown Hampton and the Phoebus area, which for someone that lived in that area brings to book even more to life.
It amazing the things this man and his family endured and the perseverance he showed throughout his life.
Buy it...read it...you'll love it!
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By Amazon Customer on September 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I live in the part of Virginia where this story originates and the images it evokes are quite powerful. G.W. Fields tells a remarkable story.
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