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Books  >>  Sociology

Fergus Bordewich

Bound for Canaan

Fergus Bordewich Bound For Canaan The Epic Story Of The Underground Railroad Ameri
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Main description:

An important book of epic scope on America's first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for change

The civil war brought to a climax the country's bitter division. But the beginnings of slavery's denouement can be traced to a courageous band of ordinary Americans, black and white, slave and free, who joined forces to create what would come to be known as the Underground Railroad, a movement that occupies as romantic a place in the nation's imagination as the Lewis and Clark expedition. 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 fierce clash of values that was nothing less than a war for the country's soul. Not since the American Revolution had the country engaged in an act of such vast and profound civil disobedience that not only challenged prevailing mores but also subverted federal law.

Bound for Canaan tells the stories of men and women like David Ruggles, who invented the black underground in New York City; bold Quakers like Isaac Hopper and Levi Coffin, who risked their lives to build the Underground Railroad; and the inimitable Harriet Tubman. Interweaving thrilling personal stories with the politics of slavery and abolition, Bound for Canaan shows how the Underground Railroad gave birth to this country's first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for social change.

Review quote:

“A masterful story--a deeply American story.”

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“A profoundly American tale.”

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“A rich, spellbinding, and readable narrative.”

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“A vivid reconstruction of abolitionism’s most daring act of rebellion...”

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“An excellent book . . .as close to a definitive history as we’re likely to see.”

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“An important addition to our history, brilliantly told.”

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“Bordewich brings to his account [of the Underghround Railroad] the moral seriousness it deserves.”

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“Bound for Canaan recaptures this grand history with the insightfulness, comprehensiveness, and narrative vigor the subject demands.”

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“Bound For Canaan reveals in stunning detail and beautiful prose the inner workings of this clandestine system.”

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“Dramatizes a shining moment in American history-- a book filled with unsung heroes and revolutionary acts of trust.”

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“Engrossing account of the Underground Railroad.”

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“Excellent...The first truly comprehensive treatment of the underground railroad.”

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“Rich in detail and solid storytelling: sure to awaken interest in the peculiar anti-institution.”

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“Rich in detail, [and] its ability to evoke the emotions, sights and sounds of these clandestine ventures.”

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“The . . stories. . . inspire, horrify and humble.”

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“This fast-paced narrative is the best account we have of the network known as the Underground Railroad.”

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“Utterly compelling.”

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“Well written, moving, and stimulating...Could provide the occasion for a constructive national conversation.”


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