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H. W. Brands, author of The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom

John Brown was a charismatic and deeply religious man who heard the God of the Old Testament speaking to him, telling him to destroy slavery by any means. When Congress opened Kansas territory to slavery in 1854, Brown raised a band of followers to wage war. His men tore pro-slavery settlers from their homes and hacked them to death with broadswords. Brown’s violence pointed ambitious Illinois lawyer and former officeholder Abraham Lincoln toward a different solution to slavery: politics. Lincoln spoke cautiously and dreamed big, plotting his path back to Washington and perhaps to the White House. Yet his caution could not protect him from the vortex of violence Brown had set in motion.

Week of October 11, 2021

Paperback releases for the week of October 11th include HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE by Cherie Jones, a powerful story about four people each desperate to escape their legacy of violence in a so-called "paradise"; THE ZEALOT AND THE EMANCIPATOR, H. W. Brands' page-turning account of the epic struggle over slavery as embodied by John Brown and Abraham Lincoln --- two men moved to radically different acts to confront our nation’s gravest sin; Vendela Vida's WE RUN THE TIDES, an achingly beautiful story of female friendship, betrayal and a mysterious disappearance set in the changing landscape of San Francisco; and DARK HORSES by Susan Mihalic, a darkly gripping debut novel about a teenage girl’s fierce struggle to reclaim her life from her abusive father, in the vein of MY ABSOLUTE DARLING and ROOM.