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John Brown: Abolitionist firebrand

4:15pm Sun 09 Apr

About this session

History's forgotten heroes don't get much more radical than the legendary John Brown. Born during the time of the great revolution of the Haitian slaves, he believed he was "an instrument of God", raised up to strike the death blow to American slavery, a "sacred obligation". He attempted to lead a slave revolt when he raided an armoury at Harpers Ferry - an act which help push the country inexorably toward the Civil War. But this was only the final act of a man who had committed his life to the destruction of slavery and an uncompromising hostility to oppression of all kinds.

Recommended Reading

Anti-Slavery Zealot John Brown is No Heroby Jim Bovardin The American Conservative
John Brown: A Biographyby W. E. B Du Bois
John Brown: he fought for slaves' freedomby Hassan Mahamdalliein Socialist Worker
The Good Lord Birdby James MacBridein Penguin
The Good Lord Birdin TV miniseries, Available on Stan
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