THE ABOLITIONISTS: A Collection of Their Writings by Louis- Ed. Ruchames

THE ABOLITIONISTS: A Collection of Their Writings

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The immediacy of the Abolitionist cause -- as reflected in these extracts from their outstanding proponents- comes into rather frightening timeliness, viewed in the light of the daily news headlines. While most of these writings, published in the 1830's and early '40's, add up to the growing formulation of the philosophy and strategy of the movement, there are echoes too of the violence engendered, the hate aroused against them, the riots and mob violence. The issues which later split the movement were coming to the fore:- political action was deplored by some; the freedom of participation on the part of women was frowned on by many. But the expression of opinion here is largely concentrated on the members of the Anti-Slavery Society and the names are those most widely associated with the Abolition Movement:- William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Parker, Elijah Lovejoy (martyr to the freedom of the press), Gerrit Smith, Theodore D. Weld, Wendell Phillips, Theodore Parker, Frederick Douglass- these are names almost any history student could name. The issues have their echoes today and go far beyond slavery. And the same arguments are used today that were used then:- Would you have your sister marry a Negro? The part played by schools, colleges and churches -- the problems of segregation in railroads- here are samples of parallels. One can venture to hope that Civil War- an inevitable result then- is the point at which similarities cease. A useful reference tool, largely for students of the period, and libraries.

Publisher: Putnam