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Nat Turner: A Slave Rebellion in History and…

Nat Turner: A Slave Rebellion in History and Memory

by Kenneth S. Greenberg (Editor)

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So many feelings about this work. Each of the essays was well-written, intelligent, thoughtful, researched, and so forth. However, due to the fact that they are all covering the same very narrow subject, many of them had a lot of overlap, where it felt like I was reading the exact same pages in a slightly different hand. This made for slower reading than I would have liked.

That said, there are essays that cover multiple different angles on the subject (of Nat Turner and his history and impact on history and black memory), plus a couple of interviews with some key figures, and as mentioned, they are well researched and insightful. This collection provides what is probably the most comprehensive definitive look at Nat Turner that can ever be produced. I am certain that I could not read anything else and wind up with any clearer, more accurate image of Nat Turner than this collection of essays has provided. His personal narrative (as much as is possible) is recreated here, alongside his, and the few other slave rebellion leaders who are known, impact on history. It is well worth a read.

Also worthy of note, I am appalled that William Styron won the Pulitzer for his racist demeaning white man's portrayal of a weak, indecisive, emasculated "Nat Turner" who comes solely from his own imagination and not history. I'd like to acquire a used copy of it (Styron certainly will get not a penny from me!) along with Ten Black Writers Respond, which will sit nicely next to each other on my shelves. I think it's very sad that he refuses to understand or accept the racist view that he portrayed is his own and not at all connected to Nat Turner, instead simply viewing his detractors as militants and communists. ( )
  .Monkey. | Dec 30, 2013 |
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Book description
Nat Turner: A Slave Rebellion in History and Memory consists of eleven essays (plus epilogue) by distinguished scholars, and two interviews: one with the author of the controversial novel "The Confessions of Nat Turner" and one with Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, a civil rights activist and detractor of said novel. This collection provides as much a look at Nat Turner as the scant pages of history can provide us, along with his impact on history.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195177568, Paperback)

Nat Turner's name rings through American history with a force all its own. Leader of the most important slave rebellion on these shores, variously viewed as a murderer of unarmed women and children, an inspired religious leader, a fanatic--this puzzling figure represents all the terrible complexities of American slavery. And yet we do not know what he looked like, where he is buried, or even whether Nat Turner was his real name.
In Nat Turner: A Slave Rebellion in History and Memory, Kenneth S. Greenberg gathers twelve distinguished scholars to offer provocative new insight into the man, his rebellion, and his time, and his place in history. The historians here explore Turner's slave community, discussing the support for his uprising as well as the religious and literary context of his movement. They examine the place of women in his insurrection, and its far-reaching consequences (including an extraordinary 1832 Virginia debate about ridding the state of slavery). Here are discussions of Turner's religious visions--the instructions he received from God to kill all of his white oppressors. Louis Masur places him against the backdrop of the nation's sectional crisis, and Douglas Egerton puts his revolt in the context of rebellions across the Americas. We trace Turner's passage through American memory through fascinating interviews with William Styron on his landmark novel, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and with Dr. Alvin Poussaint, one of the "ten black writers" of the 1960s who bitterly attacked Styron's vision of Turner. Finally, we follow Nat Turner into the world of Hollywood.
Nat Turner has always been controversial, an emblem of the searing wound of slavery in American life. This book offers a clear-eyed look at one of the best known and least understood figures in our history.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:29 -0400)

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Examines the historical significance and cultural legacy of Nat Turner and the famous slave rebellion he led in Virginia in 1831.

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