DOC ò READER The Fires of Jubilee Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion 9780060916701 ↠ STEPHEN B OATES

KINDLE The Fires of Jubilee Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion

DOC ò READER The Fires of Jubilee Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion 9780060916701 ↠ STEPHEN B. OATES ↠ The bloody slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in Virginia in 1831 and the savage reprisals that followed shattered beyond repair the myth of the contented slave and the beniThe bloody slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in Virginia in 1831 and the savage reprisals that followed shattered beyond repair the myth of the contented slave and the benign master and intensified the forces of change that would plunge A If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? William Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 1The deadliest slave revolt in US history took place in the early morning hours of August 21 1831 in Southampton County Virginia It was led by a slave turned mystic named Nat Turner who claimed to have received his orders from God The fury unleashed by Turner killed approximately 60 white people including women and children By August 23 the rebellion had been suppressed by local militia units Eventually Virginia executed 56 blacks for taking part in the short lived uprising As many as 200 blacks were killed in spasms of violence perpetrated by vengeful militiamen Nat was captured placed on trial convicted and sentenced to death On November 11 1831 he was hanged from “a gnarled old tree” northeast of the town of Jerusalem The body was given to surgeons for dissection “They skinned it” wrote 19th century historian William Sidney Drewry “And made grease of the flesh” It is hard to measure the actual effects be they large or small that Turner’s Rebellion had on the course of history After all the Civil War took another 30 years to begin There is however no uestion as to the insurrection’s emotive power Nearly two centuries later it still resonates with people Like the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising it has become a vivid symbol of defiance in the face of oppression It is also exceedingly controversial From William Styron’s novel The Confession of Nat Turner to Nate Parker’s film The Birth of a Nation artists have wrestled with Turner’s blood soaked legacy Turner has endured so long because succeeding generations grapple with his myth his motive and his meaning Perhaps the most surprising thing about Stephen B Oates’s The Fires of Jubilee Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion is how non controversially it is presented Oates plays this one straight down the middle delivering a short 154 pages of text narrative that delivers the facts as they exist in extant sources without ever testing his luck by casting judgment on Turner’s actions or attempting an interpretation of his character This results in a book that satisfyingly delivers the history without ever coalescing into anything memorable Oates begins The Fires of Jubilee with a prologue that sets the scene of Southampton County in 1831 From there he takes us through what is known of Nat Turner’s life before he attained his historical immortality The bulk of this book is devoted to a painstaking recreation of Turner’s brief vicious killing spree The slaves who took part in the uprising used the tools at hand for weapons This made for a particularly gruesome assault with axes and other blunt force instruments A helpful map is included that allows you to follow Turner’s path His original plan was to gain followers as he moved from farm to farm freeing the slaves Many though refused to join his army; some were forced by threat of violence His endgame seems to have been a march on Jerusalem after which we can only speculate In any event the momentum of his force spent itself without that ever coming to pass Oates writes in a narrative fashion This makes for gripping white knuckled reading especially during the rebellion itself Here Oates describes the first strike directed at Nat's owner Joseph Travis They spread inside without a sound The others wanted Natto strike the first blow and kill Joseph Travis With fellow slave Will close behind Nat entered the master bedroom where Joseph and his wife Sally lay sleeping Now Nat swung his hatchet in the darkness a wild blow that glanced off Travis's head Instantly Joseph bolted upright and screamed for his wife in deranged incomprehensible terror But Will moved in and hacked Joseph and Sally to pieces bringing his ax down again and again and again In minutes Will and the others had slaughtered the four whites they found in the house including Joel Westbrook and Putnam Moore With the deaths of Putnam and Joseph Travis Nat had no earthly masters left After thirty years in bondage he was free at last Yes free at lastI am not convinced however that this is the best way to tell the story Oates clearly sees Turner as a hero and is unuestioningly supportive of his goals I don’t criticize Oates for positioning Turner as the hero in his own rebellion I do criticize the unuestioning part Turner’s rebellion is crammed with ethical and moral dilemmas that deserve to be remarked upon Start with the issue of Nat Turner hearing voices from God Oates’s narrative reports this extraordinary assertion with the same nonchalant credulity he'd give a weather forecast He just accepts this as a given I on the other hand have a few uestions Did Nat really hear the voices or did he just say he did? And if he did hear voices what does that mean? I’m not saying Nat Turner had a mental illness but if someone came up to you displaying hypereligiosity and complaining of voices in their head you’d think that’s a possibility There might not be answers to these uestions since the historical record is spotty but they need to be raised and dwelt upon The same goes for the manner and method in which Turner conducted his rebellion You can’t really argue with a slave casting off his chains and taking his freedom which belongs to him by fundamental natural right But this isn’t Cinue and La Amistad Some of the white victims were women and very small children Turner himself killed only one person a woman he beat to death Any discussion on the moral justification for these killings are beyond the scope of a humble book review Oates doesn't really have that excuse In my opinion The Fires of Jubilee would have benefited from an airing of these complexities At times it felt as stripped down and simplified as Braveheart Oates's choice to write in a novelistic fashion also obscures the dearth of hard historical fact underlying Turner’s Rebellion The bulk of Turner’s story comes from his alleged “confession” to a local attorney named Thomas R Gray Gray later published his interview with Turner in book form To Oates’s credit he does include a uick analysis as to why he feels that Gray’s The Confessions of Nat Turner is a credible source Other historians disagree But I think that discussion of the various sources needed to be included within the text We need to know where the evidence comes from and what credibility to give it For example Oates relies a lot on the trial records He doesn't ever tell us whether the testimony adduced during those trials came as the product of coercion or force Narratives are seamless by their nature They give you the illusion of something generally agreed upon General agreement certainly does not define the Turner legacy My edition of The Fires of Jubilee republished to coincide with Nate Parker’s film includes the entirety of Gray’s The Confessions of Nat Turner which is an excellent and necessary addition Oates concludes The Fires of Jubilee with an epilogue set in Southampton County in 1973 two years before the original publication date For the only time in the book Oates writes in the first person He describes doing research in the Southampton County Courthouse He details a road trip that followed in Turner’s path visiting the sites that still exist Very little exists today It adds up to a fascinating essay a vision of the South in the midst of the Civil Rights movement where blacks and whites shared an uneasy existence Oates astutely observes a region of superficial politeness and gentility that acted as a veneer for simmering racial tension I think The Fires of Jubilee would have been far effective and memorable if Oates used this style throughout The Fires of Jubilee is good but it is not uite up to the task of capturing the elusive spirit of Nat Turner The paucity of primary sources makes life difficult for historians but it is a boon for dramatists The gaps in the historical record belong to the novelist and the filmmaker Nat Turner's memory has been harnessed in powerful ways ways that perhaps a straight history cannot match Oates can write like a novelist but he is still tethered by the record That puts The Fires of Jubilee at a disadvantage to fictional representations In the end it seems that the Turner Rebellion is one of those historical moments where defining a symbolic meaning is important than strict veracity

Stephen B. Oates ☆ The Fires of Jubilee Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion TEXT

Merica into the bloodbath of the Civil WarStephen B Oates the acclaimed biographer of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr presents a gripping and insightful account of the rebellion the complex gifted and driven man who led it the s A must read to truly understand American History and its relationship with race 374

EPUB ß The Fires of Jubilee Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion ☆ Stephen B. Oates

The Fires of Jubilee Nat Turner's Fierce RebellionOcial conditions that produced it and the legacy it left A classic now newly reissued for the first time in than twenty years here is the dramatic re creation of the turbulent period that marked a crucial turning point in America's histor Oates goes on a tour of Southampton County in an effort to recapture the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831 There are several things I liked about the book I liked that the book wasn't overly long or detailed which made it a good book to read for my history class I was drawn to efforts that Oates went through to supply the reader with the NorthSouth and StateFederal politics of the time which really amplified the effects of the small and otherwise unsuccessful act I found Oates reflections on the present day sout to be especially believableI have to admit that I was particularly shocked with the barbarity relayed in the slaughter of the slavemasters but in no way did I feel that the author was attempting to sway his audience The bottomline was that slavery was a losing prospect for both whites and blacks an institution of which all are negatively impacted today