Thursday, September 20, 2018

Review: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is Frederick Douglass' first-person narrative of his time as a slave from his earliest recollections through his escape to freedom and a new life with a new name. It is a haunting look at slave life, where the people are treated like animals and property. They were simply tools to get work done and nothing more. Douglass uses his experiences to speak out against slavery, the importance of literacy, becoming your own person, and a warning to guard against unjust people. Douglass worked to earn his freedom on his own terms and became a strong leader for early civil rights.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: The Myth of Perpetual Summer

The Myth of Perpetual Summer The Myth of Perpetual Summer by Susan Crandall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tallulah James has come home to Mississippi after a long absence and estrangement from her family. The family she has struggled to understand throughout her young life is facing another crisis and it is left to Lulie to help pick up the pieces. During her trip home Lulie reflects on her past as a young teenage girl growing up on a pecan grove in rural Mississippi in the 60s. She is the 2nd of four kids in a dysfunctional home where her mother was constantly gone and her father was battling emotional issues. Her parent's relationship was tumultuous. Lulie's lone source of stability has been her grandmother who holds to southern manners and rules. Granny James, however, is holding some family secrets that could explain her father's erratic behavior and her broken family.

This is another coming of age story by Susan Crandall who wrote Whistling Past the Graveyard. It holds up against Crandall's earlier works but is much darker. Its overall message seems to be to resolve the burdens of the past so that they don't carry emotional weight throughout life. It is not my favorite of Crandall's books that I have read so far but was still worth the read.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Review: American Slavery: 1619-1877

American Slavery: 1619-1877 American Slavery: 1619-1877 by Peter Kolchin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an overview of American slavery from its beginnings through its abolishment with the 13th amendment. Kolchin breaks down the differences between the different eras of slavery: Colonial, American Revolution, and Antebellum years. There is also a chapter that discusses slavery from the white southerners perspective during those years after the Civil War. Where this is a somewhat small book (under 300 pages), it provides a very clear understanding of the different topics that were affected by slavery without digging too deep.

This particular edition provides a very nice bibliography and Kolchin discusses areas of slavery that have had little to no research / scholarly written works. This makes a great resource for scholarly writing.

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