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About the Author

Stephen Puleo is an award-winning newspaper reporter who now works in corporate public relations in Boston. He has a master's degree in history, has done extensive research on Boston's North End, where the molasses flood took place, and has been a contributor to American History magazine. He lives mostrar mais in the Boston area. mostrar menos

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Obras por Stephen Puleo


Conhecimento Comum



Charles Sumner was twenty-seven, on a European tour in France when he observed students of different races, “jaunty” “men of fashion”, interacting as equals. He at once understood that education, and not nature, had divided black from white. He dedicated the rest of his life fighting to fulfilling the promise of American equality. At a time when abolitionists were disdained radicals he spoke out for the end of slavery, and when the North finally embraced abolition, he pushed for even more radical laws protecting equality and conferring voting rights.

The story of Sumner’s career is also the story of America’s division and its awakening and embracing the humanity of the enslaved. Sadly, with every victory and advance came a whiplash of brutality and violence, and the conflict over race and equality continues to this day.

This is the story of single-minded commitment to justice. After Sumner was caned nearly to death on the floor on congress, taking years to physically recover and left with post traumatic stress syndrome, he persevered in his mission. And, it is the story of America’s original sin and its legacy.

Sumner was an imperfect man, a lonely man, who could be cold and difficult, and he was a failed husband. He held lifelong deep friendships with luminaries like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his wife, was a close advisor President Lincoln and stayed with the dying president, and was a dear friend to Mrs. Lincoln, supporting her through the loss of her son and helping to secure her a pension after her husband’s tragic death.

I had been reading around Sumner’s life in various books, and was thrilled with every page of this revealing biography, impressed by the depth of Sumner’s impact on American history.

Thanks to the publisher for a free book.
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nancyadair | Mar 31, 2024 |
I finally read a book about the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, I can cross that off my bucket list!

I was thrilled to find a whole book about this disaster and even more excited when I started reading and found it was a lucid, informative account. The author takes pains to set the scene, including the global socioeconomic factors that led to the molasses tanks' shoddy construction and eventual collapse. The one issue I had with this book was that sometimes this penchant for scene setting strayed a bit too far from the narrative at hand. When the author is describing Italian anarchists for pages and pages one gets the sense he’s trying to fill space more than provide crucial information. This is a minor point however and overall this was a great historical account, I especially loved the tail end of the epilogue where the author recounts how the various people in the book spent the rest of their lives after the molasses flood. I love a good post credits, “where are they now?” paragraph to end a history book.
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Autolycus21 | 32 outras críticas | Oct 10, 2023 |
More than I really needed to know about the molasses flood in Boston in 1919 but I learned a lot about Boston and American history in the teens and twenties.

A minor nit: I was irked that he referred to the IWW as the "International" Workers of the World. The index even shows it that way. It's a common mistake, and I'm hopeful the other research was more careful. But it was INDUSTRIAL, dammit. The IWW was guilty of a lot, maybe, but choosing a stupidly redundant name was not one of their sins. See: https://iww.org/history/myths/1 and https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Workers_of_the_World… (mais)
steve02476 | 32 outras críticas | Jan 3, 2023 |
Very good over all. The preamble to the disaster took me a little while to get through, but it paid off. The story of the event itself and the aftermath was well told and follow-up on all the characters was thorough.
cziering | 32 outras críticas | Nov 27, 2022 |



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