Tony's Reviews > Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz
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's review
Dec 11, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: history
Read in December, 2011

MIDNIGHT RISING: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War. (2011). Tony Horwitz. ****.
This is an excellent in-depth study of Brown and his activities from Kansas to Harpers Ferry. The rationale for the raid and its aftermath are well known, but this study allows the reader to follow the event step-by-step from the initial planning stages to its final tragic consequences. It is difficult to put oneself into the mind of Brown and what appears to be his monomania about abolitiion. I suppose that all zealots are like that – mixing a strong brew of both religion and moral conviction that goes right to the heart of then current beliefs. There’s not a lot new here – if you have already read anything about the raid or about Brown – but the manner in which the author lays out the events is almost hypnotic, and makes you feel as you are one of Brown’s volunteers. Recommended.

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