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The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race
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The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  54 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
At a time when slavery was spreading and the country was steeped in racism, two white men and two black men overcame social barriers and mistrust to form a unique alliance that sought nothing less than the end of all evil. Drawing on the largest extant bi-racial correspondence in the Civil War era, John Stauffer braids together these men's struggles to reconcile ideals of ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Harvard University Press (first published 2002)
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May 29, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating book that is packed with a lot of information and frankly I feel like I would like to re-read it just to absorb it all. Stauffer profiles two African American abolitionists, Frederick Douglass and McCune Smith and two white abolitionists, John Brown and Gerrit Smith and follows their transformation over time. The reader sees how the ideals of these men are changed and shaped by the times and especially by the bloodshed at John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry and the violence ...more
Online-University of-the-Left
Fascinating insights into the minds of four Radical Abolitionists--John Brown Frederick Douglass, James McCune Smith and Garrit Smith--and their close collaboration in trying to destroy the social constructs of race, among other things...

I'm about two-thirds through this now, and learn something new all the time. John Brown took the nickname 'Osawotamie' not only for the area of Kansas where he was fighting, but also because he was trying to affirm a Native Identity as part of his own, in order
Mar 19, 2014 Redpoet rated it really liked it
Nicely done. Some strange stuff, but also some increased information about things usually which go without much notice in regards to John Brown, Frederick Douglas, and company (such as support for the women's movement, etc.). Also, the book makes clear how John Brown essentially totally rejected white privilige, and did not even consider himself white...and what that means and how that is done (lesson for today). Also, on the relationship across so called race lines between the revolutionary par ...more
Jun 06, 2007 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Fascinating book about four prominent abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass, in pre-Civil War America who attempt to dissolve racial distinctions in their lives and create a better society. When one of these men, John Brown, fails to end slavery through violence, the other three renounce their more radical aims to one extent or another, abandoning their quest for total racial equality. A moving story about failed idealism.
Apr 03, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Perhaps my favorite book I read for a class in college. Solid historical research, sharp and original analysis/framework, and one heckuva interesting topic/thesis...
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He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1999 and is the Chair of the History of American Civilization and Professor of English and African American Studies at Harvard University. He has written and lectured widely on slavery and abolition, social protest, the dilemmas of self-making, and photography.
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