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Flash for Freedom! by George MacDonald…
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Fraser's great naughty character Flashman presents a narrative of the whole slave trade from the British financiers to the source in the kingdom of Dahomey in Africa, the trans-Atlantic voyage, slave markets, New Orleans brothels, plantations and the underground railroad that transported slaves out of the United States to safety in Canada. As always, Fraser triggers interest in learning more about some of the characters and stories told. Especially the king of Dahomey and his Amazon warrior corps picked my interest. I also wonder whether in 1849, there already existed a distinct Texan accent (however unlikely it would have been for an upper class Englishman to fake it so convincingly to fool Southerners).

True to the topic, the author uses one gimmick I wished he did not have made such frequent use: the n-word. In 1971, this might not have had the shock value it does now, but the contrast between censoring swear words and an abundance of n-words is off-putting.The quest for authenticity might have gone too far. Abraham Lincoln also emerges in a far better light than he was in reality. In 1849, his journey towards emancipation had only begun. He had always believed in the moral wrongness and inhumanity of slavery but his political views were pragmatic if not conservative. He was not a firebrand but often, quietly, leading from behind.

Overall, an enjoyable read with very good pacing and stitching together of very different locations. ( )
  jcbrunner | Sep 27, 2015 |
If you are keeping track, this is the third installment of the Flashman papers "owned" by Mr. Paget Morrison. To recap the first two packets of papers (published in 1969 & 1970): Flashman has been expelled from Rugby School, served in the British army and survived a skirmish with Otto von Bismark. The third packet picks up in the year 1848 and seems to be initially edited by Flashman's sister-in-law, Grizel de Rothchild as the swearwords are heavily edited and the sex is practically nonexistent (unheard of for our Harry, but don't worry - it picks up!). This time Harry's adventure focuses on a trip to America (Washington and New Orleans) where he meets Abraham Lincoln, gets caught up in the slave trade (with the underground railroad and as a salve runner), and par for the course, nearly loses his life several times over. Once again, it's a woman who saves his bacon. ( )
  SeriousGrace | May 20, 2015 |
After a gambling scandal involving a woman (of course), Flashman is forced into the slave trade by his horrible father-in-law. Then he finds himself forced into rescuing slaves along the underground railroad. Along the way he meets Abraham Lincoln, who sees through that lying old Flashy, but likes him anyway. Although this is another raucous, gawdy, naughty Flashman adventure, Fraser doesn't neglect his history. If a callous old cad like Flashman can be horrified by the trade there may be hope for him yet. ( )
  varielle | Jul 11, 2014 |
Flashman becomes involved in slave trafficking and freeing slaves when his adventures take him to Africa and America. Good lecherous fun in the classic series. ( )
  Leischen | Dec 30, 2013 |
To me, this is the best of the Flahman series, the one that persuaded me to go on reading them after finding the original Flashman too daastardly and Royal Flash disgusting (I happen to love Prisoner of Zenda and could not bear the parody. Besides, it got Bismarck's politics wrong for the time in question.) In Flash for Freedom, though, Flashy is less dastardly and actually does help a slave escape and wins the approval of Abe Lincoln; in this one, as in some later ones, he really is more of a ppicaresque hero --lecherous and unheroic, but not as consistently caddish as in the first volume. ( )
  antiquary | Feb 15, 2013 |
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When the first two packets of the Flashman Papers were published, in 1969 and 1970, there was some controversy over their authenticity.
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Liar, lecher, bully, coward - why waste such talents? A career in politics beckons for Flashman ...

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