Overview: “Plotted in secret, launched in the dark, John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry ruptured the union between North and South. Yet few Americans know the true story of the militant idealists who invaded Virginia before the Civil War. Now, Midnight Rising paints Brown’s uprising in vivid color, capturing a nation on the brink of explosive conflict.
“Unlike most abolitionists, Brown was prepared to shed blood in the cause of freedom. After fighting against slavery in Bleeding Kansas, he secured money and guns from clandestine backers called the Secret Six, and convened a guerrilla band that included three of his sons, his teenaged daughter, a former slave desperate to free his wife from bondage, and a dashing poet who acted as a spy inside Virginia. Then, late one autumn night in 1859, Brown marched from his mountain hideout into Harpers Ferry, seizing the town’s federal armory and vowing to liberate every slave in the South.
“The bloody fight at Harpers Ferry prompted a counterattack by U.S. Marines under Robert E. Lee and shocked an already divided nation. While Southerners branded the raid an act of treason and terror, Brown’s bravery and eloquence made him a hero to many Northerners. The crisis also helped elect Abraham Lincoln, who later began to fulfill Brown’s dream with the Emancipation Proclamation, a measure the president once labeled “a John Brown raid, on a gigantic scale.”
“In this riveting book, Tony Horwitz probes the troubled soul of Brown, the desperate passion of his followers, and the spirit of a sundered nation. The result is both a taut historical drama and a telling portrait of a fiery time that still resonates in our own.”
About the Presenter: Dennis Burnside, a native of Kalamazoo and a Lansing resident for thirty years, is a co-founder and co-director of the X Foundation. He was instrumental in the efforts to have Lansing’s historic Main Street renamed Malcolm X Street in 2010. A dynamic speaker, debater and voracious reader, Mr. Burnside’s presentations are always a must see.
When: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Capital Area District Library
401 South Capital Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933
This event is a presentation of The X Foundation and the views expressed are not sponsored by, nor endorsed by, The Capital Area District Library.