Drawing on both new and neglected evidence, this book reconstructs Old John Brown's aborted 'war' to free the 3.8 million slaves in the American South before the Civil War. It critiques misleading sources that either exalt Brown's 'heroism' and noble purpose or condemn his 'monomania' and 'lawlessness'. McGlone explains the sources of his obsession with slavery and his notorious crime at Pottawatomie Creek in 'Bleeding Kansas' as well as how the Harpers Ferry raid figured into Brown's larger vision and why he was captured in the federal armory there. John Brown's War against Slavery chronicles how this American apostle of violence on behalf of the 'downtrodden', this abolitionist 'fanatic' and 'terroriser', ultimately rescued his cause by going to the gallows with resolution and outward calm. By embracing martyrdom, John Brown helped to spread panic in the South and persuaded northern sympathizers that failure can be noble and political violence 'righteous'.
Robert E. McGlone holds a PhD in history from UCLA, and is currently Assistant Professor of History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is the author of scholarly articles, which have appeared in journals including the Journal of American History and Civil War History. He has also contributed to several collected volumes and encyclopedias, including His Soul Goes Marching On, The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, and the Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery.
1. Introduction: an exalted defeat; Part I. Inclinations of Head and Heart: 2. The connection; 3. First son; Part II. Rebirth: 4. Pilgrim; 5. Steward; 6. Terroriser; Part III. Jeremiads: 7. Monomaniac; 8. God's reaper; Part IV. Strategies: 9. Propagandist; 10. Conspirator; 11. Insurrectionist; 12. Witness; Part V. Messages: 13. God's emissary.
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- ID: 9780521514439
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