WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON AND THE HUMANITARIAN REFORMERS by Russell B. Nye

WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON AND THE HUMANITARIAN REFORMERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A skillful study of Garrison within the moral, social and political setting of the abolitionist movement. Though the necessary facts of biography are here, the emphasis falls on Garrison as the guiding spirit, almost the embodiment of abolition. Garrison's tangled and passionate nature is made to reflect the political forces he shaped and manipulated. His religious fervor and dedicated stoicism, ingrained from childhood, won the approval of powerful leaders in the upper social strata; his violent and rhetorical journalism, with the uncompromising plea for the immediate freeing of the slaves, rallied elements that demanded an extremist stand. Garrison's gore and thunder turned moral conviction into a national cause, while his program of non-violent pacifism stimulated the widespread, monied aid essential to the early growth. When war became a fact and abolition a crusade, Garrison's pacifists could shoulder arms as a ""moral duty"". Mr. Nye has let his limitations of subject operate against giving more color and detail to minor characters in the story, or developing the psychological subtleties and domestic life of Garrison. The book needed this rounding out, though it provides superior reading in a limited panel of American history.

Publisher: Little, Brown