Midnight Rising

Midnight Rising

John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

Book - 2011
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A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
A Library Journal Top Ten Best Books of 2011
A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011

Bestselling author Tony Horwitz tells the electrifying tale of the daring insurrection that put America on the path to bloody war

Plotted in secret, launched in the dark, John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry was a pivotal moment in U.S. history. But few Americans know the true story of the men and women who launched a desperate strike at the slaveholding South. Now, Midnight Rising portrays Brown's uprising in vivid color, revealing a country on the brink of explosive conflict.

Brown, the descendant of New England Puritans, saw slavery as a sin against America's founding principles. Unlike most abolitionists, he was willing to take up arms, and in 1859 he prepared for battle at a hideout in Maryland, joined by his teenage daughter, three of his sons, and a guerrilla band that included former slaves and a dashing spy. On October 17, the raiders seized Harpers Ferry, stunning the nation and prompting a counterattack led by Robert E. Lee. After Brown's capture, his defiant eloquence galvanized the North and appalled the South, which considered Brown a terrorist. The raid also helped elect Abraham Lincoln, who later began to fulfill Brown's dream with the Emancipation Proclamation, a measure he called "a John Brown raid, on a gigantic scale."

Tony Horwitz's riveting book travels antebellum America to deliver both a taut historical drama and a telling portrait of a nation divided--a time that still resonates in ours.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2011.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780805091533
Branch Call Number: 973.7116 HORWITZ
Characteristics: xii, 365 pages : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 25 cm.


From Library Staff

Horwitz provides great insight into John Brown's early life and his wars in Kansas, all leading to the events Harpers Ferry.

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Aug 26, 2017

Very interesting story that appears to mostly be based off of letters written between John Brown and his family, supporters, and financial backers.

Dec 19, 2011

Exceptional and compelling narrative of the abolitionist John Brown and the raid he led on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859. Horwitz explores the background and aftermath of the raid thoroughly, giving the reader a greater understanding of the events of those hours. Highly recommended.


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