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John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights Paperback – November 14, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Reynolds' biography of Brown is both detailed and fascinating, and is sympathetic without attempting to hide the dark and troubling aspects of Brown's actions.Read more ›
Reynolds' work is set apart from his contemporaries in that he presents a positive portrait of Brown in contrast to other scholarship that tends to depict Brown as an insane madman who briefly stepped into history but did little to influence it. Reynolds' positive representation of Brown may seem contradictory considering his position that Brown was a terrorist. However, as Reynolds states, Brown was not a terrorist by the same definition that we use today. Reynolds defines terrorism as "violence that avoids combat, is used against the defenseless (often civilians), and is intended to shock and horrify, with the aim of bringing about social change." Brown committed what Reynolds classifies as "good terrorism" by carefully selecting his victims (pro-slavery white males) which sets Brown apart from modern day terrorists whose violent activity is intended to kill anyone. Reynolds' interpretation of Brown is presented in such a way that the ends justify the means; and while Brown's tactics were horrific and brutal, it was for the common good of society and to uphold divine law.
Reynolds offers a very in depth analysis of the life and events surrounding John Brown.Read more ›
In the sixties I was about as removed in time from the Civil War as today's young people are from the First World War. That is, the people who were alive during the war were all but past and the children born to those who had lived through the war were now old. Still, some of the received knowledge of the war came from tradition of those who had life experience rather than from books and scholarship. However, with the Great War in our Grandparent's lives, the Second World War in our parent's lives and the echoes of Korea all around us and Vietnam getting under its bloody way, the Civil War just seemed too long ago to worry about in real life.
I took extra time with this book because I wanted to wrestle with the idea of when a cause is important enough to justify personally initiated violence. In our present state of affairs, it is hard to conceive a wrong so great that righting it would involve action outside the political and judicial processes. At bottom, no matter how certain of the rightness and goodness of our cause, there is still some possibility that there is more to the issue than we understand and that those whom we would kill or murder might actually, in the cosmic view of things, not merit the death we would inflict on them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although Brown has been canonized by our PC machine, he was nothing but a murderous sociopath, and he left a pile of bodies in his wake. No one can explain these facts away.Published 1 month ago by patricia a pryce
Beautifully researched and written. I learned some things in this book that I never knew before.Published 7 months ago by Zelda Barnard
My husband is big reader and loves to read about the Civil War. I bought this because I thought he would like to rad about this man who probably had a big part in the move to end... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Barbara G. Long
This is a great book. It's painstakingly researched, and the unprecedented level of detail weighs on the pacing. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent treatise on old Ossawatomie and his influence on emancipation and civil rights during the past 150 years. Brown was truly a negro in a white man's skin.Published 20 months ago by Bow Legged Cowboy
A quick review of this book:
This book is a fascinating read for those who have a vague sense that a person named John Brown played a major role in American history. Read more
Good details, well structured, not particularly fast moving, but a very good source of in-depth discussions.Published 22 months ago by M. Tillinghast