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Cloudsplitter is narrated by the enigmatic Owen Brown, last surviving son of America's most famous and still controversial political terrorist and martyr, John Brown. Cloudsplitter vividly re-creates the antislavery movement of the 1840s and traces it through the brutal guerrilla warfare of Bloody Kansas, culminating in a powerful re-creation of Brown's insurrectionary raid on Harpers Ferry.
Cloudsplitter is a moving account of one principled man's tragic passage from antislavery agitator and activist to guerrilla fighter to terrorist to martyr. It is the story of how a political cause deemed holy controlled and ultimately destroyed the life of an entire family, and how in the process it became the catalyst for the greatest conflagration in our nation's history. John Brown, as portrayed by his ambivalent, reflective, guilt-ridden son Owen, begins as a conventional middle-class Christian family man of his time, a Yankee tanner, a failed wholesaler of wool, a small farmer and inept land speculator. Yet by middle age he exists at the precise locus where the exalted sentiments of his fellow abolitionists, the New England Transcendentalists such as Emerson and Thoreau, cross over into revolutionary action. He has become the trusted cohort of African-Americans like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, the leader of a zealous band of antislavery terrorists, and the creator of the most daring, radical plan to free the slaves ever imagined.
Historians have long argued whether Brown was a religious fanatic or merely a horse-stealing charlatan or the only important white martyr in the history of racial conflict in America - or all three. What cannot be argued is that the course of the Civil War and all subsequent American history would have been radically altered if not for John Brown's 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 768 pages
  • 172.72 x 243.84 x 48.26mm | 1,111.3g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0060168609
  • 9780060168605

Rating details

3,639 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 31% (1,128)
4 39% (1,430)
3 21% (767)
2 6% (215)
1 3% (99)
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