Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life
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Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  349 ratings  ·  15 reviews
“I am at peace with God and all mankind.”
—Harriet Tubman to Mary Talbert, on the occasion of their last visit, 1913

Now, from the award-winning novelist and biographer, an astonishing reimagining of the remarkable life of Harriet Tubman—the “Moses of Her People.”

During her lifetime Harriet Tubman was an escaped slave, lumberjack, laundress, raid leader, nurse, fund-raiser,...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Doubleday
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The Book Maven
The title should have given it away: this was the imaginary life of Harriet Tubman. Which is sad, because her life was real, and fascinating, and here it is reduced to conjectures. The irksome thing is that though its disclaimer is "imagining", it is still marketed as non-fiction/biography.

I will admit that it takes me longer to read nonfiction, but holy cow this is ridiculous. The only reason that this book is not completely boring is because it indulges in flights of fancy; it projects thought...more
Sometime in grade school, maybe 4th or 5th grade, I read a children's book about Harriet Tubman, so I knew the basics of her being an escaped slave who put her own life on the line to bring several other people North to freedom from slavery. I'm on a big biography kick lately, so decided to learn a little more. Boy did I ever! This lady was BRAVE and STRONG. Tough as Nails!

Things I learned:
- Harriet grew up in Maryland. I guess I had always assumed she was born further in the Deep South.
- Her fi...more
I thoroughly enjoyed learning as much as I did from this book. While the writer tried to sort of exhaustively proceed through the subject's life year by year, month by month, recreating as much as possible, this sometimes made reading a bit repetitious and dry. Also, the author had a tendency to skip ahead in time and tell the reader of events that may not happen for decades. Finally, the family tree and all the kinships and names were very hard to keep track of. In spite of all this, I thorough...more
I really liked this true-to-life account of Harriet Tubman's life as one of the heroes of the Underground Railroad. While I appreciate the dramatization of some biographies, this one avoids speculation by presenting the facts and then personifying an occasional scene here and there. The result is not as gripping as I'd sometimes like, but it was a very good read. I came away with an increased sense of gratitude for freedom and the courage of so many to do what they could to help others.
I had no idea this life was so varied....I only knew of her as the conductor of the underground railroad. But, she also worked down in South Carolina during the Civil War as nurse, spy, cook, and liaison to the newly freed slave community. Did the government pay her a pension? No, not until she bothered them for years and years. Shameful....at anyrate, the writing is quite good and the story is excellent.
Unbiased look at an amazing woman. What she accomplished as an illiterate former slave staggers and humbles me. It reinforced the sadness of lost family and ancestors that will never be discovered.
Carl Rollyson
Reared in slavery, beaten by her masters, struck in the head as a young woman with a heavy weight that caused narcoleptic spells — the story of Harriet Tubman is well-known. This petite, illiterate woman ran away to the free North, and then repeatedly returned to her home ground of Maryland, spiriting away not only her own family, but dozens — perhaps even hundreds — of slaves, never once getting caught or losing anyone in her charge.

When the Civil War broke out, Tubman became a nurse and intell...more
I already have a huge interest in the life of Harriet Tubman, so this was an easy read. Someone less interested might find it dull. The author did an incredible amount of research to give good insight about slavery on Maryland's Eastern Shore (different from in the Deep South) and the forming of black military regiments during the Civil War. This book answered a lot of questions for me about how my own family might have bought freedom and land before the emancipation.

I was especially pleased wi...more
Really enjoyed this book. Given that it's based on pulling together research and various accounts of people who are no longer alive, some sections were awkward and hard to follow at times. Overall, however, it was well researched and well written. Enjoyed reading this perspective.
Charlene Smith
I knew very little about Ms. Tubman. This book explained
all that this person was. Real interested in the actual
strength she had in spite of her physical ailments.
She is someone to look up to and see what a person
can do.
My daughter is studying a poem about Harriet Tubman and I thought it would be interesting to learn about her life.
After escaping slavery, she went back 19 times to help free others in slavery.
Utterly inspiring and wonderfully personified, Harriet Tubman was undoubtedly one of the greatest American heros of all time. And this biography catches that heroic feeling perfectly.
Gris Mcksomething
This book had enlightening moments but most of it was written in a current (vs reflective) style which means there are pages of boring stuff... Like my journal
Love to read anything about Harriet Tubman. Author did tons of research and the story of her life is very well-told.
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