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I Freed Myself: African American Self-Emancipation in the Civil War Era
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I Freed Myself: African American Self-Emancipation in the Civil War Era

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  6 ratings  ·  4 reviews
For a century and a half, Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation has been the dominant narrative of African American freedom in the Civil War era. However, David Williams suggests that this portrayal marginalizes the role that African American slaves played in freeing themselves. At the Civil War's outset, Lincoln made clear his intent was to save the U ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published March 2014 by Cambridge University Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Jennifer Boyce

This was a fascinating read; analyzing the impact that African Americans had on their own emancipation. This book is a technical, yet understandable read, allowing it to be comprehended by readers of variable skill levels.

This book gives a comprehensive analysis on the roles African Americans, enslaved or otherwise, played in obtaining their emancipation. It’s not an oft talked about fact that African Americans played a pivotal role in freeing themselves.
It is one of those common truisms of US history that the Civil War was fought over slavery and that Abraham Lincoln is to be universally lauded for his abolitionist spirit that led to the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. It is, in fact, one of the defining moments in American history. However, according to author David Williams, this focus on the role Lincoln played in the war and emancipation is overstated and, worse, hides the crucial role that African Americans themselves played both ...more
I Freed Myself is a great text for popular audiences who, unlike historians, haven't read much of the recent scholarship by Stephanie McCurry, Thavolia Glymph, etc. on what some call "the slaves' war" against their masters. Nevertheless, in light of recent focus devoted to the roles Lincoln (Eric Foner's The Fiery Trial), the Union Army (Chandra Manning's What This Cruel War Was Over and Gary Gallagher's The Union War), and congressional Republicans (James Oakes's Freedom National and "Reluctant ...more
Williams is smoking hot when it comes to the role of African-Americans in the American Civil War. The overstatement that Lincoln freed the slaves rubs many of us, and his thesis that not only did the slaves largely set themselves free, but were pivotal to the Union’s ultimate victory, is a strong one.

In Marxist organizations, there is an expression for a political over-correction. It’s called “bending the stick too far back”. The idea is that you want the stick to be straight up, but sometimes
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David J. Williams comes from a family with strong traditions in military and aviation. These traditions, along with experiences in the outdoors and in the air, formed the foundation of this novel. When not hunting or fishing, David participates in debate team and soccer. D
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