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Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America
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Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Octavius Valentine Catto was an orator who shared stages with Frederick Douglass, a second baseman on Philadelphia's best black baseball team, a teacher at the city's finest black school and an activist who fought in the state capital and on the streets for equal rights. With his racially-charged murder, the nation lost a civil rights pioneer - one who risked his life a ...more
Hardcover, 656 pages
Published August 13th 2010 by Temple University Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Charles Stephen
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recent history texts of The American Civil Rights Movement have tended to roll back its timeline before 1954 and expand its cast of heroes. Well, this book is about a civil rights leader whose murder came six years after the assassination of a great American President. Oh, you might think, another book about MLK and JFK. Biddle and Dubin are writing about the death of Octavius Valentine Catto in Philadelphia in 1871, six years after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

Expertly researched, this book
...more
Drick
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is an important addition to the history of racism, the Civil War and Civil Rights in the US. While the title suggests that the book focuses solely on the life and work of Octavius Catto, it is much more than that. It really is a history of the black struggle for freedom and basic human rights in the decades leading up the Civil War and the first 10 years after the war, leading up to the passage of the 15th Amendment which gave the vote to African Americans. The first 100 pages focus on ...more
Alexander
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Octavius catto is a person who helped with black getting the right to vote. He died on Election Day. He got shot by Frank Kelly. His whole life is very interesting to read. Not that many people know about him.
Mary Durben
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Much good information here about a number of less well known figures in the fight for civil rights, including Octavius Catto, but may be too detailed for some. It seemed to take a long time to get to the story of Octavius, and a long time to finish the book.
Craig
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written overview of many lesser-known but important pioneers of the first civil rights movement. Well researched but a slow read.
Lisa Tracy
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Tasting Freedom" by Dan Biddle and Murray Dubin is an indelible portrait of a man whose life spanned the last days of legal slavery in this country and the beginning of hard-won freedom. It was in that quest for freedom, on the streets of Philadelphia, that Octavius Catto lost his life. "Tasting Freedom" is a riveting slice of American history, beautifully told and offering very valuable background for the struggle for equality that continues today. Bravo, Messrs. Biddle and Dubin! Lisa Tracy
FM
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
A very interesting and detailed book centered around the people who fought against slavery and oppression in the early 1800s. While the book title focuses specifically on Octavius Catto, the reader is introduced to many, many fascinating people. Almost too many--adding a list of people mentioned in the book would have been helpful in keeping track of everyone. At 500+ pages, the book offers a detailed look at life for African-Americans in the early 19th century but was perhaps a bit too ...more
Beverly
Sep 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Another helpful tile in the grand and complex mosaic of African American History. It also had personal resonance because Catto was friend of my great great grandmother and the book includes poem he wrote to her. My cousin Lillie is also interviewed in the book.
JoAnn Jordan
Sep 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book on the civil rights movement of the 1800's. The history is told in very interesting prose.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the 1800's and especially those interested in Afro-American history. I found it riveting.
Brad
Sep 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: abandoned
Very good book but I just couldn't finish it. Maybe someday. Highly recommended for folks who want to learn more about the African-American freedom struggle in the 19th century.
Laura
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Very detailed, at times repetitive, but I learned a great deal about a part of our nation's history - and the people involved in it - that our history textbooks have neglected.
Mark Moore
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May 04, 2016
connie ragsdale
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Jul 07, 2018
Daryl Grigsby
Aug 05, 2011 is currently reading it
unheralded fighter for human dignity and black self-determination

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Richard
This book really is not, despite its claims, a biography of Octavius Catto. Sure, there are multiple pages devoted to him, but I'd say that at most 20 per cent of the book is about Catto.

So what is the book about? I'd say it tells the story of African Americans in the Northern United States during the middle decades of the 19th Century. It has a primary, not not exclusive, focus on events in Philadelphia. It's a worthy subject for a book, especially the accounts of the abolition movement, the
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