- Paperback: 424 pages
- Publisher: Duke University Press Books; 1St Edition edition (November 5, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0822340739
- ISBN-13: 978-0822340737
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History 1St Edition Edition
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Rather than offer another biography of the woman most famous as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, historian Sernett explores how Tubman, a former slave, has grown in historical stature to the level of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Analyzing several of the biographies that have been written about Tubman—including books aimed at children—Sernett shows how the ebb and flow of politics and culture push individuals into obscurity or elevate them into prominence. In the most recent past, Tubman’s life has captured the American imagination and revived interest to the point where there have been efforts to have the U.S. Congress grant her veteran status for her service in the Union Army and approve a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor. America’s canonization of Tubman has reflected the changes in social mores and the nation’s self-image as it has come to accept and appreciate a woman who defied notions about the place of blacks and women during slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. --Vanessa Bush --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sernett, an emeritus professor of African-American studies at Syracuse University, has written a lucid, thoughtful, fascinating book that reveals how we Americans have thought and still think about Tubman.
It's a story about her and the people who framed her story from their own prejudices and purposes, and about our American racial stereotypes and prejudices.
As heartbreaking as it is to read how the Auburn, New York, community treated her during the last decades of her life, but my admiration for her grows as I realize that despite such treatment she marched along selflessly, lovingly and forgivingly.
It's no wonder Tubman's fame continues to grow.
As the author correctly points out, Tubman went back to rescue members of her family. He also points out that she had help from the community of free blacks in Maryland, along with whites.
Unfortunately, Tubman was illiterate so she was never able to tell her own story in her own words. There have been many fictional accounts of her life that have in a sense made her a mythical character.
Sernett traces the historiography of Harriet Tubman and how she has been depicted in various accounts. This is an excellent companion piece to any account of the life of Harriet Tubman and allows the reader to understand the depiction of Harriet Tubman in American history.