“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work. Blogs may be about new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read. Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things. Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too. No matter the source, good reads are featured here.
This Friday Reads blog is written by retired reference librarian and member of the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club, Adrienne Latimer.
If you enjoyed reading Confederates in the Attic (featured in last Friday’s blog), then you must read another Tony Horwitz title: MIDNIGHT RISING: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War! It is a detailed account of how John Brown planned and carried out the 1859 attack on the Federal Arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Many historians consider this event to be the spark that launched the Civil War.
Born in Connecticut, Brown came from a deeply religious family and grew up to abhor slavery. As an adult he became an active Abolitionist. He was not content simply to protest the continuing of slavery, he was determined to stop spread of slavery into the new territories and ultimately, to abolish slavery in the United States. Southerners considered him a terrorist, but many Northerners revered him as a moral leader, a hero. Tony Horwitz provides that incredible event the added color of the backstory, with details gleaned from his research. He has such a vivid, energetic writing style, he draws the reader into the story. Never has history been so engrossing or exciting.