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Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America
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Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  15 reviews
With a combination of scrupulous original research, new perspective, and a sensitive historical imagination, Patriotic Treason vividly recreates the world in which John Brown and his compatriots lived as well as the biography of John Brown and the history of the events leading up to the Civil War. Evan Carton narrates the dramatic life of the first U.S. citizen committed t ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Bison Books (first published August 29th 2006)
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There are times when the way we remember history is almost as interesting as the history itself. This phenomenon often occurs with regards to the American Civil War. The Civil War is as much a shared memory as it is a series of historical events. Much of its realties have been obscured by an agreed-upon myth. Every once in awhile, though, the dust gets shaken from that myth, and we are left to confront and argue about the past. Indeed, it seems we have to refight all the old battles every time s ...more
I remember John Brown from high school history class as some weird crazy, quasi-terrorist man who killed people to free the slaves. Yet it wasn't until I read the conclusion to this book that I put it all into perspective:

"Had Brown been an escaped slave or a free northern black man who acted and spoke exactly as the historical John Brown did, professional historians of the last fifty years would not have labeled him mad. Radical, militant, enraged, desperate, impatient, self-aggrandizing, perha
I saw this book sitting on the "new" shelf at the public library and picked it up on a whim. I knew very little about John Brown prior to reading this book - so little, in fact, that I thought his ill-fated raid at Harper's Ferry was a one-off. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

This is definitely one of my top reads so far this year. Carton does an amazing job of bringing John Brown to life in the pages of this book. Brown was a radical abolitionist for most of his life - from his early teenage years
Steve Smits
What are we to make of John Brown and his impact on the tensions between North and South that led to secession and war? The conceptions of him held by historians are far from alike. Was he a madman whose fanaticism on the issue of slavery culminated in his ill-conceived, suicidal raid on the Harper’s Ferry Armory? Was his belief that the raid would spark a general uprising of slaves completely delusional? In light of the growing rancor between the North and the South was Brown and his action jus ...more
A biography of the historical John Brown. The author does a fantastic job of getting to the soul of the famous abolitionist radical; showing that he was no more terrorist than many of this country's founding fathers, while, not glossing over his crimes and eccentricities. John Brown is most definitely my favorite historical figure.
Craig J.
A Truly Outstanding Book

I am reading this book for the second time. I hardly ever do such a thing as my life is crowded and busy. But I find that this book speaks truth and example better than all but a handful of other of the hundreds of books I have read. It is a magnificent account of a virtuous man. You should spend the time to read it so you can enjoy a lesson in what a full human being looks like.
This is a hard read and a hard subject - but I learned a lot about abolition not as lived by Washington insiders, but as lived by a white man driven to right the injustice of slavery. His religious life is very offputting 150 years later, but he was thoughtful and intentional in trying to right what he saw as the wost wrong a society could have - putting production above right treaetment of other people. In the book it mentions that he was the only white man in America who treated blacks as equa ...more
An awesome biography of a man who humbly marched through life's failures until he quietly became the match that lit the powder keg of the Civil War. John Brown was no mad man, but an American driven by the essence of patriotism and a man with a moral and wholly mortal destiny.
Can you tell we are going to Harper's Ferry next week? Anyway I did enjoy this book and do think this is an important, often forgotten figure in our history. However, the fawning adoration of the man is a bit much. I agree that his action, however flawed it was, deserves respect; but, he was a violent nut. Who hacks someone with broad swords, sacrifices the lives of their children, and then wakes up to lead prayer services? As you can tell I'm conflicted....
This was a MOST interesting listen . . . I never knew much about John Brown and this book has given me an appreciation of him . . . . as a person who actually LIVED his convictions . . . while many people just gave lip service to theirs'. If you want more info about this man other than the oft repeated stories . . . give this book a listen or a read.
Really enjoyed this one. I'd say it's a 4.5er. Carton did a wonderful job providing a fair and objective look at John Brown. In school, I learned that he was a crazy killer. He was definitely more Malcolm X than MLK Jr., but he was a loving person that just wanted to do his part to free slaves.
I have read so many books on John Brown, who I consider the greatest White man around, that it is hard to write any more comments. This was a good one, but not the best I have read. I liked JOHN BROWN:ABOLITIONIST by David Reynolds better.
Great book, really fleshed out what little I learned or remembered in school. The man was no fanatic.
cool book about John Brown and what he was all about, and just how all about it he was
Wonderful biography and picture of the antebellum time period.
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