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Introducing "Friends are reading..."

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

by Tony Horwitz

2011, Macmillan

Welcome to Friends are reading..., where I'll post reviews by readers I know.

My first guests are the We2 bookclub, members Christine and Bruce, who read Midnight Rising.

Christine: Thumbs up 

John Brown was an absent husband and a failed businessman, but he had an unwavering commitment to abolitionism. A fascinating story of a flawed individual who played a significant role in U.S. history. Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, and his subsequent trial for treason, was the first news story Americans followed in 'real time' thanks to reporters sending updates via telegraph.

Bruce: Thumbs up

John Brown played an important part in U.S. history, but he was not a great role model. He basically deserts his family and gets away with murder in Kansas. Then he takes his sons and others on the raid at Harpers Ferry, which was doomed to failure due to inadequate resources, bad timing and poor planning. "Midnight Rising" is well worth reading. 


Was John Brown mentally ill?

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