Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America
The true story of the Underground Railroad is much more morally complex and politically divisive than even the myths suggest. Against a backdrop of the country's westward expansion arose a clash of values that evolved into a fierce fight for nothing less than th ...more
Here are all the stories you know: Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Solomon Northup (the Twelve Years a Slave guy), John Brown. The slave escape that inspired Uncle Tom's Cabin and the story that inspired Beloved.
Here also are impo ...more
The Underground Railroad was, by its very nature, a silent, loose-limbed organization. This fog of anonymity may explain why, despite its critical role in American history, historians have attempted so few chronicles of it. Bordewich, author of My Mother's Ghost (2000) and Killing the White Man's Indian (1997), was undeterred by the challenge. If he can't rescue all names from anonymity, he succeeds in laying bare the heroic spirit of the escapees' struggle. He also breaks "the hard sheen of myt...more
Some standout points for me: the connections between the Underground Railroad and the beginnings of the women's rights movement; the importance of Can ...more
This is what history books should read like. Moving and expertly told, you get an immediate sense of what challenges the underground railroad was up against, and find yourself rooting fervently for the slaves bound for freedom.
-In NC I believe a white man bought a slave and set him free and then bought the slaves son and gave the son to the father so that the father ...more
Though the Underground Railroad is one of the touchstones of American collective memory, there's been no comprehensive, accessible history of the secret movement that delivered more than 100, ...more
(Nonetheless: a well-written and at times compelling overview of the network of largely black or Quaker men and women who did the bulk of the dangerous work of guiding, hiding, financing, and assisting slaves who escaped to freedom. I was especially fascinated by the chapters on the ...more
Well written, easy to read, coherent story of the underground railroad. The only gripe I'd have with this book is that the author probably takes some liberties in describing the emotions or possible actions of actors where they aren't clear from primary sources but the language he uses almost always makes it clear where speculation exists.
The author does an,excellent job of weaving the overall story around the lives of several frequently recurring individual making the themes apparent ...more
It is tragic and inspiring, educational and embarrassing (to me as a white person who was taught to have pride in our founders and leaders).
I would recommend this to anyone intetested in American history and our slave roots. Well written, interesting, just enough detail and plenty of individual stories. I hadnt known much about Harriet Tubman or John Brown except for their names. So many sung and unsung heroes and heroines!!!
This is the most thorough account of the history of the Underground Railroad that I have read. It read as an epic narrative of the roots and development of the UGRR, and includes many accounts of the involvement of slaves and freedmen, blacks and whites, westerners and easterners, Americans and Canadians who affected its development.