b o o k rev i ews More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 18291889. By Stephen Kantrowitz. (New York: Penguin Press, 2012. Pp. 514. Cloth, $36.00; paper, $20.00.) The Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Thirteenth Amendment all seem to invite a relatively straightforward narrative for African American history, clear dividing points that mark the end of one story and the beginning of another, the conclusion of slavery's disturbing chapter in U.S. history and the beginning of the story of freedom. Of course, the war, the proclamation, and the amendment were neither clean endings nor solid beginnings, but the messier story of African American history is harder to shape into a compelling narrative. In More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 18291889, though, Stephen Kantrowitz proves himself up to the challenge, and he provides a magnificent example of how to avoid the seductions of easy beginnings and endings by simply recognizing that slavery was not the sole or even the defining issue for African American activists before the Civil War. This study of the "leading members of Greater Boston's black community" is a story with many beginnings, and
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Nov 16, 2013
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