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Books  >>  History

Jill Lepore

New York Burning

Jill Lepore New York Burning Liberty Slavery And Conspiracy In Eighteenth Ce
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Pulitzer Prize Finalist
Anisfield-Wolf Award Winner

Over a frigid few weeks in the winter of 1741, ten fires blazed across Manhattan. With each new fire, panicked whites saw more evidence of a slave uprising. In the end, thirteen black men were burned at the stake, seventeen were hanged and more than one hundred black men and women were thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall.

In New York Burning, Bancroft Prize-winning historian Jill Lepore recounts these dramatic events, re-creating, with path-breaking research, the nascent New York of the seventeenth century. Even then, the city was a rich mosaic of cultures, communities and colors, with slaves making up a full one-fifth of the population. Exploring the political and social climate of the times, Lepore dramatically shows how, in a city rife with state intrigue and terror, the threat of black rebellion united the white political pluralities in a frenzy of racial fear and violence.

“A fascinating social and political history.” –The New York Times Book Review“Vivid and provocative; [Lepore] evokes eighteenth-century New York in all its moral and physical messiness.” –The New Yorker “A vivid and convincing account of the ‘plot’ and its aftermath.... [A] sober, meticulous, balanced book”–The Washington Post Book World “A historical study that is both intellectually rigorous and broadly accessible.... The type of book that we need to read and historians need to write, more often.”–Newsday“[Lepore] brings this terrifying period vividly to life.... A gripping read that shows how quickly fear spread through a city resting upon a terrible imbalance.”–Newark Star-Ledger


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