WENDELL PHILLIPS ON CIVIL RIGHTS AND FREEDOM by Louis-Ed. Filler

WENDELL PHILLIPS ON CIVIL RIGHTS AND FREEDOM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A minor benefit deriving from the contemporary civil rights movement is the rescue of Wendell Phillips from oblivion. Phillips was an inspiring if not towering figure, a real radical in the real American tradition -- second only, perhaps, in stubborn integrity to his fellow abolitionist, Thoreau. A Boston lawyer, Phillips was recruited to Garrison's banner early, but he was his own man and never let policy considerations temper his conscience or quiet his tongue. These eighteen speeches of his range in time from 1837 to 1881, for Phillips was one of the few anti-slavery men who did not abruptly retire with the Emancipation Proclamation; instead, his fight for equality pushed on into the labor struggle and the movement for an eight hour day. In style and effects the range of these speeches is even broader, and the expression is supple yet direct, caustic yet visionary. The introductory note to each piece has been kept brief, perhaps a bit too much so, since so many of the specific issues dealt with are all but totally obscured today.

Publisher: Hill & Wang