Introduction: The Anguish None Can Draw
John Brown is dead. Long lives John Brown. An ordinary name and an extraordinary fate. This book examines the afterlife of John Brown, inpart, by asking why the apprehension of him remains unsettled. One answer lies in an uneasy legacy of the split within contemporary opinions about the man and his action; another lies in the apparently unique action of the Harper’s Ferry raids and the unsettling standards it demands. “Unique action” rests on a number of claims—of which many are contingent on race. Those who say “Long live John Brown,” tend to divide along a color line. Lerone Bennett, Jr., among others, has little hesitation in rewriting John Brown’s race.
KeywordsUnique Action Body Politic Contemporary Opinion Labor Question Unconditional Surrender
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