Friday, August 17, 2018

Booknotes: Abolitionism

New Arrival:
Abolitionism: A Very Short Introduction by Richard S. Newman (Oxford UP, 2018).

Abolitionism is a new entry in Oxford's Very Short Introductions series, which tasks subject experts with brief overviews that "combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable." Most of you have probably seen these before in bookstores. The slim, little 4"x7" volume is attractively packaged, with chapter bibliographies included at the back in lieu of formal endnotes.

From the description: "In this succinct narrative, Richard S. Newman examines the key people, themes, and ideas that animated abolitionism in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries in the United States and internationally. Filled with portraits of key abolitionists - including Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Anthony Benezet, Toussaint L'Ouverture, Elizabeth Heyrick, Richard Allen, and Angelina Grimké - the book highlights abolitionists' focus on social and political action. From the Underground Railroad and legal aid for oppressed people to legislative lobbying and military service, abolitionists employed every conceivable means to attack slavery and racial injustice. Their collective struggles helped bring down slavery - the most powerful economic and political institution of the age - across the Atlantic world and inspired generations of reformers."

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