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Freedom in a Slave Society: Stories from the Antebellum South by Johanna Nichol Shields (review)

Freedom in a Slave Society: Stories from the Antebellum South by Johanna Nichol Shields (review) REVIEWS sacrifices Ruggles made in the face of tremendously difficult circumstances. Contributionist African American history of the early to mid twentieth century met an important need--those of us growing up black in America in the 1960s and 1970s needed to know who our founding fathers and mothers were and what they did. Hodges's version of contributionist history is more analytically sophisticated than much of the earlier generations, but perhaps his interpretation of Ruggles could have acquired an even greater level of complexity by exploring further how the steely fortitude that Ruggles displayed over two decades also at times may have made him inflexible and difficult to deal with. In the twentyfirst century we also need heroes who are flawed like us. Ruggles may have been such a hero. Graham Hodges has given us a much needed, insightful, and carefully crafted biography of key figure in American history. The minor critiques offered here are far outweighed by the important contribution Hodges's story of Ruggles makes to African American, abolitionist, and antebellum United States history. Sc ott H anc ock is an associate professor of history and Africana studies at Gettysburg College. His research interests are African American history and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Freedom in a Slave Society: Stories from the Antebellum South by Johanna Nichol Shields (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 33 (2) – Apr 17, 2013

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

REVIEWS sacrifices Ruggles made in the face of tremendously difficult circumstances. Contributionist African American history of the early to mid twentieth century met an important need--those of us growing up black in America in the 1960s and 1970s needed to know who our founding fathers and mothers were and what they did. Hodges's version of contributionist history is more analytically sophisticated than much of the earlier generations, but perhaps his interpretation of Ruggles could have acquired an even greater level of complexity by exploring further how the steely fortitude that Ruggles displayed over two decades also at times may have made him inflexible and difficult to deal with. In the twentyfirst century we also need heroes who are flawed like us. Ruggles may have been such a hero. Graham Hodges has given us a much needed, insightful, and carefully crafted biography of key figure in American history. The minor critiques offered here are far outweighed by the important contribution Hodges's story of Ruggles makes to African American, abolitionist, and antebellum United States history. Sc ott H anc ock is an associate professor of history and Africana studies at Gettysburg College. His research interests are African American history and

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Apr 17, 2013

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