The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War

The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War

The devastating story of how fugitive slaves drove the nation to Civil War For decades after its founding, America was really two nations--one slave, one free. There were many reasons why this composite nation ultimately broke apart, but the fact that enslaved black people repeatedly risked their lives to flee their masters in the South in search of freedom in the North pro The devastating story of how fugitive slaves drove the nation to Civil War For decades after its founding, America...

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Title:The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War
Author:Andrew Delbanco
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Genres:History
ISBN:The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War
ISBN
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:464 pages pages

The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War Reviews

  • Nicole
    Jan 05, 2019
    A little repetitive in places, and I had occasional issues with the writing style, but overall a lucid, well-researched, nuanced, and timely read. Highly recommend. ...
  • Straw
    Jan 07, 2019
    I wholeheartedly appreciate an author that isn't afraid to discuss modern times in the context of history. Playing at objectivity and absolute truths is such a bore - and completely untrue when everything is through the lens of humans. I think the portion of the book up to the Civil Wa...
  • Gordon
    Dec 19, 2018
    Having overloaded on Saccharine with a period piece about Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's vice president who refused to solidify the gains that Union made with their blood, I paused because I knew that the base of the movie was the incredible myth of the "Lost Cause" in the South. The truth ...
  • Darcia Helle
    Oct 22, 2018
    Most history books covering the period from the Revolution to the Civil War are written from the white person's perspective. Whether looking at it from the south or the north, pro- or antislavery, events are often told as if African Americans sat silently awaiting their rescue. I love ...
  • Montana
    Dec 28, 2018
    This would be five stars if the beginning were as good as the end. He took the importance of fugitive slaves to the causes of the civil war from the seed sowing of the declaration to the start of the war. The opening was okay ish but quite frankly there wasn't enough tension until the ...
  • Lynn
    Apr 27, 2019
    Impressive book about the years before the Civil War happened. The Compromise of 1850, the inclusion of Texas as a slave state and the Fugitive Slave Act combined to make slavery even more intolerable and forcing Northerners to comply with slave laws and se the effects for themselves. ...
  • Becky Loader
    Apr 13, 2019
    As a Civil War re-enactor, I have read a lot of books about the Civil War and the time following. The time period immediately preceding the War is not an era I have read much about. Delbanco has written a finely researched, readable account of the time leading up to the Civil War an...
  • Richard
    Dec 08, 2018
    In recent years I have read numerous books on Abolitionism and the Abolitionists, the Underground Railroad, Abraham Lincoln's life and political career and the formation of the Republican Party, etc. Despite this I decided to read The War Before the War for two reasons. First, I have f...
  • Myles
    Jan 31, 2019
    When 13 dinky colonies in Great Britain?s empire decided to throw off the chains unreasonable taxation and lack of representation in Parliament, many revolutionaries identified themselves with creating an enduring democracy dedicated to equality and the pursuit of liberty But thos...
  • Dale
    May 31, 2019
    A Review of the Audiobook Published in 2018 by Penguin Audio. Read by Ari Fliakos. Duration: 13 hours, 40 minutes. Unabridged. Simply described, this book is an in-depth look at the slavery controversy in the United States from its very beginnings through the Civil War. I am a...
  • Thomas
    Nov 23, 2018
    Needs more than my usual two or three lines of Goodreads notes and I don't have time for more than two or three lines (later, then) - this is a masterclass in writing nuanced and imaginative history. Along the way, Delbanco includes just enough parallels to our current moment to spark ...
  • Tom Johnson
    Apr 14, 2019
    The most depressing part: as far as white guy attitudes are concerned, not much has changed. Trump and the wretched GOP have exposed the rot in our small-d "democracy". I get so upset with weak and vacillating Democrats - then again government is such an inside game it's difficult for ...
  • Elizabeth Stolar
    Jan 22, 2019
    I almost wish I had access to a magical machine where I could emerge as an 18 year old about to matriculate at Columbia University so I could major in history and take classes with renowned professors such as Professor Delbanco. Since that's unlikely to happen, the next best thing is t...
  • Casey Wheeler
    Oct 21, 2018
    This book is simply amazing. It is well written and researched and an engaging read. The author covers the time period from the Revolution to the Civil War and the struggles endured by slaves seeking freedom, maintaining freedom and those who could not escape the harsh environment in w...
  • Brenda A
    Nov 03, 2018
    The War Before the War covers everything that led up to the US civil war and how much went into it. A fair portion of it is spent on the Fugitive Slave Act and encompassed the ambivalent feelings many had over slavery. Most importantly, it covered the views of slavery from a variety of...
  • Dan Downing
    Dec 18, 2018
    Not to quibble, but this title would better describe today than pre-1861. What is being discussed is the innate conflict in our Constitution followed by the problems various laws, mostly dealing with fugitive slaves, posed for the Federal Union. And it was all and more than is presente...
  • Donna Davis
    Dec 10, 2018
    You may not have had the grades or the money to attend Columbia University, but you can read Professor Delbanco?s book anyway. It?s meaty and interesting, and it clears up some longstanding myths about slavery in the USA. My thanks go to Net Galley and Penguin Random House for the ...
  • Vince
    Nov 19, 2018
    United States Constitution Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3 otherwise known as the Fugitive Slave Clause: No person held to service or labour in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such serv...
  • David Kent
    May 12, 2019
    An extraordinary look at the history of "the slavery question" that puts to rest any of the false narratives. Slavery was the cause of the Civil War, and indeed, the cause of much of the strife from before out inception as a nation. Historian Andrew Delbanco describes in detail how the...
  • Paul Womack
    Jan 11, 2019
    I would give six or more stars if available. This is quite an imposing work of history and social commentary. The characters come alive, with their faults and strenghts, with the moral ambiguities over enslavement many endured in order to preserve the Union, with their passions to see ...
  • Lissa
    Oct 16, 2018
    4.5 stars. ...
  • Faith
    Mar 30, 2019
    It was an inconvenient fact that slaves often tried to escape. They were not mindless contented cattle. This book describes how their actual escapes, or the fear that they would try to escape, led to many compromises between the slave states and the free states, beginning with the fugi...
  • Brandt
    Apr 13, 2019
    What's the point of history anyway? First and foremost is that last part of the word--"story." Those of you who have read some of my other reviews will not that I tend to read a lot of sci-fi and comic books. While I like when one of these books ends up being more than just a space ...
  • Aimee Leonhard
    Mar 17, 2019
    This was hard going on so many levels. While this is a dense book with a lot of material, it is very well organized and the authors arguments are clearly set out. It was worth the time and difficulty. I think the main thing I took away from this is that slavery is like a virulent disea...
  • Steven M Cohen
    Dec 05, 2018
    I have to say that this is an astonishingly great book. I have read dozens of books on this area of history, the Civil War and the run-up to it, slavery, slaves, abolitionism, Lincoln, etc. I can?t think of a single one that ties this all stuff together more convincingly than Andrew ...
  • Shane Hawk
    Dec 30, 2018
    Strong work of history. Great writing style. Delbanco framed much of it around the FSA. Tons of historical nuance and context. Recommended for those interested in the events leading up to the American Civil War. ...
  • Alexis
    Jul 26, 2018
    I can't recommend this book enough. It was a capitvating read in its own right, but the depth the author goes into adds even more enjoyabilty. I learned so much from it, and even had a whole conversation about what I had learned with a friend the other day. The topic is timeless, and s...
  • Amber Woodward
    Feb 05, 2019
    I'm surprised this book is rated as highly as it is. While there's nothing wrong with Delbanco's scholarship here, I found his writing lacked the nuance he was attempting to portray, and therefore his points came off somewhat heavy handed and out of place. I appreciate his attention to...
  • Mara
    Oct 21, 2018
    I appreciate this as a part of the growing area of popular historical non-fiction that is contextualizing the role that resistance among enslaved people played in catalyzing the conflict of the Civil War. This book helps reclaim our public memory & narrative on the true level of re...
  • Porter Broyles
    May 02, 2019
    I've tried writing a review of this book, but I think the following quote does a better job at summarizing the book than I can: Ever since, historians have disputed which of the many contentions between the North and South deserves pride of place in the story of the coming secession...