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Allies for Freedom/Blacks on John Brown

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  13 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
John Brown is an endlessly fascinating historical figure. Here are two classic studies by a pioneer in African American studies, one about the place of John Brown in African American history, the other about the reasons for the unique esteem in which he has been held by successive generations of blacks.This two-in-one edition features a new introduction by William S. McFee ...more
Paperback, 456 pages
Published February 8th 2001 by Da Capo Press (first published 1972)
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Rossdavidh
Jun 09, 2014 Rossdavidh rated it really liked it
Shelves: purple
This is a combined volume of two books on the topic of John Brown, the man who more than any other single individual ignited the American Civil War. But really, it's a book about “John Brown”, the topic, how he was regarded at the time and later. John Brown is a Rorschach blot in American history, upon which antebellum South and North, and later generations, projected whatever they hoped or feared. I think part of why he is not heard of so often today is that he still raises some uncomfortable q ...more
Brian
Dec 24, 2007 Brian rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people seeking insight on what contemporary Black leaders thought of John Brown
The retelling of the narrative of John Brown's life was not as complete or nuanced as DuBois' biography of Brown. The highlight of this text definitely the numerous primary documents from numerous and politically varied contemporary Black activists and leaders. This provided a look into the political discourse of the time and the tremendous respect and appreciation of the courage and determination of Brown. It was also revealing to see the rapid backpedalling of abolitionists who had once been e ...more
Emily
Oct 06, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing
A careful study of John Brown's organizing work as a militant abolitionist. Quarles explores the search for affinity groups and individuals, and Brown's challenging transitions from planning/discussion to direct action and back again. This book refutes the mainstream 'lone terrorist/nutter' narrative typically attached to the events at Harper's Ferry.

Quarles also confronts the key what-If scenario (What if more abolitionist leaders had joined Brown's raid?) with a refreshing emphasis on the per
...more
Richp
Mar 11, 2015 Richp rated it really liked it
I didn't rate this 4 stars because "I really liked it", but because it did a good job of its primary intention, describing the impact of John Brown on the African-American community of his day and the subsequent century plus. I did learn a lot, and I was already familiar with his story, most recently from "Don't Know Much About the Civil War" by Kenneth Davis.

As a pure biography, it was weak because one does not really get a good sense of John Brown as a person. This is largely a result of lack
...more
David Courtenay-Quirk
Apr 02, 2015 David Courtenay-Quirk rated it it was amazing
Though new research has shed new light on some of his arguments (developing and solidifying many, though complicating and even negating a few), this is a brilliant work that demonstrates that Brown wasn't some crazed loner, but intimately connected to the entire Abolitionist movement, and particularly to Black Abolitionists. One of the absolute bests.
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Shelves: history, non-fiction
Very informative
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202577
Quarles was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was a subway porter. He married twice, first to Vera Bullock Quarles, who died in 1951, and second to Ruth Brett Quarles. He had two daughters, Pamela and Roberta.

In his Twenties, Quarles enrolled at Shaw University and received his B.A. degree in 1931, M.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1933, and Ph.D. in 1940. He worked a
...more
More about Benjamin Arthur Quarles...

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