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Now or Never!: Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Infantry's War to End Slavery Hardcover – October 10, 2017
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“Two black Civil War soldiers and writers offer unique perspectives about how they fought on and off the battlefield… both showing a different side of the war to blacks and abolitionists. Author Shepard does a great job using the dispatches from these men to form the basis for this narrative. The most impressive contribution is how the individual voices of (the soldiers) are in the forefront with their similarities and distinctions. This is a powerful use of primary resources, one that illuminates the lives of its subjects but never gets in the way of their remarkable stories. Rich backmatter provides useful information. Absolutely stellar.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Written from the points of view of…the first African American war correspondents―fascinating, often brutal details from their experiences as soldiers in the 54th Infantry make up the backbone of this meticulously researched and highly readable history. This book will greatly enhance Civil War studies, leading to a deeper understanding of the African American plight throughout history and the racial prejudice that continues to this day. Teachers can also use this text to show how primary documents are critical to unbiased historical accounts. Documents and photographs add much interest and authenticity to the text.”– School Library Connection, starred review
"The author will captivate readers with masterfully built suspense…The context of the war and the political climate of the country are interjected along with the complexity of sentiments about African Americans…The inclusion of a time line, maps, drawings, and photographs…further enriches the narrative…this is an excellent addition to the history.” – School Library Journal
“This well-researched volume is recommended for students who want to dig a little deeper into the history of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment.” – Booklist
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Here are my scheduled book signings for October and November:
• October 12: Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA at 7 p.m.
• October 16: Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA at 7 p.m.
• October 23: Bemis Hall, Lincoln, MA at 12:30 p.m.
• November 5: Mount Zion Baptist Church, Lincoln, NE at 2 p.m.
• November 11: University of Pennsylvania Bookstore, Philadelphia PA at 2 p.m.
• November 18: Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA 1:30 p.m.