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    The Powell's Playlist | February 27, 2015

    Kazuo Ishiguro: IMG Kazuo Ishiguro's Playlist for The Buried Giant

    The eight songs on this playlist didn't "inspire" The Buried Giant, nor did I play them out loud while writing. And with the notable exception of... Continue »
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      The Buried Giant

      Kazuo Ishiguro 9780307271037


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Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History


Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Harriet Tubman is one of Americaandrsquo;s most beloved historical figures, revered alongside luminaries including Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History tells the fascinating story of Tubmanandrsquo;s life as an American icon. The distinguished historian Milton C. Sernett compares the larger-than-life symbolic Tubman with the actual andldquo;historicalandrdquo; Tubman. He does so not to diminish Tubmanandrsquo;s achievements but rather to explore the interplay of history and myth in our national consciousness. Analyzing how the Tubman icon has changed over time, Sernett shows that the various constructions of the andldquo;Black Mosesandrdquo; reveal as much about their creators as they do about Tubman herself.

Three biographies of Harriet Tubman were published within months of each other in 2003andndash;04; they were the first book-length studies of the andldquo;Queen of the Underground Railroadandrdquo; to appear in almost sixty years. Sernett examines the accuracy and reception of these three books as well as two earlier biographies first published in 1869 and 1943. He finds that the three recent studies come closer to capturing the andldquo;realandrdquo; Tubman than did the earlier two. Arguing that the mythical Tubman is most clearly enshrined in stories told to and written for children, Sernett scrutinizes visual and textual representations of andldquo;Aunt Harrietandrdquo; in childrenandrsquo;s literature. He looks at how Tubman has been portrayed in film, painting, music, and theater; in her Maryland birthplace; in Auburn, New York, where she lived out her final years; and in the naming of schools, streets, and other public venues. He also investigates how the legendary Tubman was embraced and represented by different groups during her lifetime and at her death in 1913. Ultimately, Sernett contends that Harriet Tubman may be Americaandrsquo;s most malleable and resilient icon.


An exploration of the way history, meaning, and memory have interacted in the process of transforming Harriet Tubman into an American icon and a figure of inspiration like Abraham Lincoln or Fredrick Douglass.

About the Author

Milton C. Sernett is Professor Emeritus of African American Studies and History at Syracuse University. Among his books are African American Religious History: A Documentary Witness and Bound for the Promised Land: African American Religion and the Great Migration, both also published by Duke University Press, and North Star Country: Upstate New York and the Crusade for African American Freedom.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1. andldquo;Mintyandrdquo; 11

2. andldquo;Moses the Delivererandrdquo; 41

3. andldquo;General Tubmanandrdquo; 73

4. Sarah Bradfordandrsquo;s Harriet Tubman 105

5. Saint, Seer, and Suffragist 131

6. The Apotheosis of andldquo;Aunt Harrietandrdquo; 165

7. Earl Conrad and the Book That Almost Wasnandrsquo;t 195

8. andldquo;Spirits Risingandrdquo; 225

9. Pride of Place 255

10. Historians Have Their Say 293

Appendix 321

Notes 325

Bibliography 371

Index 395

Product Details

Sernett, Milton C.
Duke University Press
People of Color
cultural heritage
Historical - U.S.
Public opinion
African-American women
Tubman, Harriet
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
88 illustrations ( incl. 9 in color)
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » African American Studies » Slavery and Reconstruction
History and Social Science » World History » General

Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History New Trade Paper
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Product details 424 pages Duke University Press - English 9780822340737 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
An exploration of the way history, meaning, and memory have interacted in the process of transforming Harriet Tubman into an American icon and a figure of inspiration like Abraham Lincoln or Fredrick Douglass.
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