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I’VE GOT A HOME IN GLORY LAND

A LOST TALE OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

A most worthy addition to the literature surrounding American slavery, complementing Mary Kay Ricks’s Escape on the Pearl...

An excellent and absorbing “American and Canadian story” of an inaugural passage aboard the Underground Railroad.

Canadian archaeologist Frost has spent months and traveled thousands of miles along back roads to trace the lives of runaway slaves, a search that she affectingly describes in the early pages of her book, helped along by the descendants of slaves and slaveholders alike, guarded by a “chivalrous hitchhiker” as she combed through a forgotten graveyard beside a freeway off ramp, threatened by devotees of the Old South. The fruits of that hard work are evident in this book, which reconstructs the lives and circumstances of a light-skinned young man named Thornton Blackburn and his wife, Lucie, who, the day before Independence Day 1833, presented forged documents allowing them passage from slaveholding Kentucky into free Indiana and steamed away on a paddle-wheeler from Louisville, never to return. They eventually made their way to Toronto, where the ambitious and intelligent couple became middle-class householders, he a cab driver, she a moneylender. Theirs was a daring escape, to be sure, but Frost puts it in a larger context of resistance in many ways; by her account, slave resistance to the point of insurrection and guerrilla warfare was common, so much so that “wise slaveholders turned a blind eye to minor infractions” in order to quiet discontent. Having wrested some freedom of movement, slaves in cities along the Ohio River came into contact with free blacks, some of whom formed part of the network of abolitionists who served the underground movement to help runaway slaves reach freedom. Frost is adamant, however, that the heroes here are Thornton and Lucie, whose deed was forgotten but who “changed the very world in which they lived.”

A most worthy addition to the literature surrounding American slavery, complementing Mary Kay Ricks’s Escape on the Pearl and Mat Johnson’s The Great Negro Plot, both to be published in February 2007.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2007

ISBN: 0-374-16481-9

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2007

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


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  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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