Thursday, November 12, 2015
A Volcano Beneath the Snow
Book talk: John Brown is a controversial figure: depending on your perspective he could be seen as an inspiration who stopped at nothing to fight for what he thought was right or as one of the earliest domestic terrorists. The truth lies somewhere in the murky area between these two extremes. Read this book to uncover the bloody and complicated history of slavery, the civil war, and John Brown.
Rave: I really enjoyed the nuanced approach Marrin took towards John Brown but my favorite parts were when he pulled back to provide further context. His section on the history of slavery was excellent and contained a lot of information that was new to me and I wish I had earlier. Marrin doesn't pull any punches and he doesn't come down on any one side but allows the reader to explore the complexities of history and see multiple perspectives.
Rant: He hinted a lot about its connections to modern-day terrorism but I wish he had gone into this even further. Perhaps that will be a future book?
Every book its reader: I'd give this to history enthusiasts 7th grade and up or those looking for an excellent narrative nonfiction.
Topics & trends: slavery, history, terrorism, narrative nonfiction, civil war
Source: school library
A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown's War Against Slavery by Albert Marrin: buy it or check it out today!