Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America  -     By: Fergus Bordewich
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Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America

HarperCollins / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 576
Vendor: HarperCollins
Dimensions: 8.0 X 5.4 X 1.0 (inches)
ISBN: 0060524316
ISBN-13: 9780060524319
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Publisher's Description

An important book of epic scope on America's first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for change

The civil war brought to a climax the country's bitter division. But the beginnings of slavery's denouement can be traced to a courageous band of ordinary Americans, black and white, slave and free, who joined forces to create what would come to be known as the Underground Railroad, a movement that occupies as romantic a place in the nation's imagination as the Lewis and Clark expedition. The true story of the Underground Railroad is much more morally complex and politically divisive than even the myths suggest. Against a backdrop of the country's westward expansion arose a fierce clash of values that was nothing less than a war for the country's soul. Not since the American Revolution had the country engaged in an act of such vast and profound civil disobedience that not only challenged prevailing mores but also subverted federal law.

Bound for Canaan tells the stories of men and women like David Ruggles, who invented the black underground in New York City; bold Quakers like Isaac Hopper and Levi Coffin, who risked their lives to build the Underground Railroad; and the inimitable Harriet Tubman. Interweaving thrilling personal stories with the politics of slavery and abolition, Bound for Canaan shows how the Underground Railroad gave birth to this country's first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for social change.

Author Bio

Fergus M. Bordewich is the author of several books, including Bound for Canaan, Killing the White Man's Indian, and My Mother's Ghost, a memoir. The son of a national civil rights leader for Native Americans, he was introduced early in life to racial politics. As a journalist, he has written widely on political and cultural subjects in Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, American Heritage, Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Reader's Digest, and many other publications. He was born in New York City, and now lives in New York's Hudson River Valley with his wife and daughter.

Editorial Reviews

“Well written, moving, and stimulating...Could provide the occasion for a constructive national conversation.”
“Well written, moving, and stimulating...Could provide the occasion for a constructive national conversation.”
“This fast-paced narrative is the best account we have of the network known as the Underground Railroad.”
“A masterful story--a deeply American story.”
“An excellent book . . .as close to a definitive history as we’re likely to see.”
“A profoundly American tale.”
“An important addition to our history, brilliantly told.”
“Well written, moving, and stimulating...Could provide the occasion for a constructive national conversation.”
“Engrossing account of the Underground Railroad.”
“The . . stories. . . inspire, horrify and humble.”
“Bordewich brings to his account [of the Underghround Railroad] the moral seriousness it deserves.”
“Excellent...The first truly comprehensive treatment of the underground railroad.”
“A vivid reconstruction of abolitionism’s most daring act of rebellion...”
“Rich in detail and solid storytelling: sure to awaken interest in the peculiar anti-institution.”
“A rich, spellbinding, and readable narrative.”
“Rich in detail, [and] its ability to evoke the emotions, sights and sounds of these clandestine ventures.”
“Utterly compelling.”
“Dramatizes a shining moment in American history-- a book filled with unsung heroes and revolutionary acts of trust.”
“Bound for Canaan recaptures this grand history with the insightfulness, comprehensiveness, and narrative vigor the subject demands.”
“Bound For Canaan reveals in stunning detail and beautiful prose the inner workings of this clandestine system.”

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