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A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown's War Against Slaveryby Albert Marrin
Synopses & Reviews
ALBERT MARRIN is the author of numerous highly regarded nonfiction books for young readers, including Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy, Years of Dust, and Black Gold: The Story of Oil in Our Lives. His many honors include the Washington Children's Book Guild and Washington Post Non-Fiction Award for an "outstanding lifetime contribution that has enriched the field of children's literature," and the James Madison Book Award for lifetime achievement.
"National Book Award finalist Marrin adds to his acclaimed collection of history books, and while the subject of this latest — fervent abolitionist John Brown and his efforts to end slavery in the United States — is not easy to read about, Marrin's narrative style is entirely accessible. Nine chapters effortlessly bridge topics that include Brown's upbringing, the global history of slavery, the 'peculiar institution' (as slavery was known in the pre — Civil War south), and the legacy of Brown's actions. Marrin sets out 'to place this man within his world and then to see how he helped bring about the most terrible conflict in American history,' and he accomplishes that and more. The book winds down with Brown's execution, the Civil War, and President Lincoln's assassination, and a final chapter raises thoughtful topics for discussion. Should people in a lawful society follow the law or their own conscience? Was John Brown a martyr, a terrorist, or both? Archival photos, maps, and documents break up lengthy sections of text, and an index, notes, and suggestions for further reading are included. Ages 12 — up. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
John Brown is a man of many legacies, from hero, freedom fighter, and martyr, to liar, fanatic, and "the father of American terrorism." Some have said that it was his seizure of the arsenal at Harper's Ferry that rendered the Civil War inevitable.
Deeply religious, Brown believed that God had chosen him to right the wrong of slavery. He was willing to kill and die for something modern Americans unanimously agree was a just cause. And yet he was a religious fanatic and a staunch believer in "righteous violence," an unapologetic committer of domestic terrorism. Marrin brings 19th-century issues into the modern arena with ease and grace in a book that is sure to spark discussion.
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