A balanced, fair portrayal of an African-American rebel against slavery, whose bloody actions hardened positions on both sides of abolition and helped bring on the Civil War. Goldman gives information on Turner's personal background and his activities, drawing on contemporary accounts as well as secondary sources. Writing clearly and with some dramatic flair, he sets the events in context, giving a full account of the social and political conditions of the time and emphasizing the galvanizing effect Turner's rebellion had on Southern opinion and how the resulting repression outraged the North. Nuances and complexities are clearly laid out; modern readers will appreciate that the conflict, steadily escalating over the next 30 years, made keeping the peace ever more difficult. Fully documented source notes; bibliography; B&w photo insert and index not seen.