Black Hearts of Men Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race

ISBN-10: 0674013670
ISBN-13: 9780674013674
Edition: 2002
Authors: John Stauffer
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Description: At a time when slavery was spreading and the country was steeped in racism, two white men and two black men overcame social barriers and mistrust to form a unique alliance that sought nothing less than the end of all evil. Drawing on the largest  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/30/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.474
Language: English

At a time when slavery was spreading and the country was steeped in racism, two white men and two black men overcame social barriers and mistrust to form a unique alliance that sought nothing less than the end of all evil. Drawing on the largest extant bi-racial correspondence in the Civil War era, John Stauffer braids together these men's struggles to reconcile ideals of justice with the reality of slavery and oppression. Who could imagine that Gerrit Smith, one of the richest men in the country, would give away his wealth to the poor and ally himself with Frederick Douglass, an ex-slave? And why would James McCune Smith, the most educated black man in the country, link arms with John Brown, a bankrupt entrepreneur, along with the others? Distinguished by their interracial bonds, they shared a millennialist vision of a new world where everyone was free and equal. As the nation headed toward armed conflict, these men waged their own war by establishing model interracial communities, forming a new political party, and embracing violence. Their revolutionary ethos bridged the divide between the sacred and the profane, black and white, masculine and feminine, and civilization and savagery that had long girded western culture. In so doing, it embraced a malleable and "black-hearted" self that was capable of violent revolt against a slaveholding nation, in order to usher in a kingdom of God on earth. In tracing the rise and fall of their prophetic vision and alliance, Stauffer reveals how radical reform helped propel the nation toward war even as it strove to vanquish slavery and preserve the peace.

John Stauffer has published numerous articles on photography and social reform in America, and is the recipient of grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, The Pew Program in Religion and American History, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. His forthcoming book, The Black Hearts of Men, won the 1999 Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize for the best dissertation in American Studies from the American Studies Association. He is Assistant Professor of English, History and Literature at Harvard University.

Introduction
The Radical Abolitionist Call to Arms
Creating an Image in Black
Glimpsing God's World on Earth
The Panic and the Making of Abolitionists
Bible Politics and the Creation of the Alliance
Learning from Indians
Man Is Woman and Woman Is Man
The Alliance Ends and the War Begins
Epilogue
Abbreviations
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

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