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The Price of Liberty: African Americans and the Making of Liberia Paperback – April 26, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0807855164 ISBN-10: 0807855162 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (April 26, 2004)
  • 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: #424,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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"

Book Description

"Clegg . . . reveal[s] how cherished myths about Africa and America ran aground on the shoals of political and cultural realities."--The Chronicle of Higher Education

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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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