THE LIBERATOR by John L. Thomas


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There is more than one ""liberator"" in this lengthy and carefully annotated biography of William Lloyd Garrison, the fiery New England Anti-Slavery agitator in the 30 years preceding the Civil War. Included also in the book is the story of Garrison's inflammatory paper, The Liberator, and a detailed account of the entire American Abolition movement in the 19th century. Garrison, a tactless, humorless, belligerent and single-minded man of great courage and little imagination, was born in Newburyport, Mass., in . Influenced by a rightly religious mother, he was a reformer without a cause until in the Benjamin Lundy, brought him into the Anti-Slavery movement. In Garrison started The Liberator, with his credo: ""I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse. I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD"". Heard he was, the country over, infuriating even his friends and harming his cause by his unreasoning virulence, making speeches at which he was showered with filth. Often imprisoned, frequently in danger of death, he on near-martyrdom and gave impetus to a movement he lacked the imagination to direct: he died, not quite popular but no longer hated, in 1879. Present day segregationists will abhor this excellent study of the unlovable reformer whom their predecessors loathed, but the book will appeal to students of pre-Civil War political and social movements, and it should find a place in comprehensive historical libraries of the period.

Publisher: Little, Brown