A new book, written by Rochester Institute of Technology History Professor Richard Newman, “Abolitionism: A Very Short Introduction,” talks about the importance of anti-slavery challenges in the U.S. during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The 176-page book is part of Oxford University Press’s “Very Short Introduction” series.
“This series is aimed at creating succinct, readable books on key topics for general readers as well as specialists,” said Newman. “Even though this is a short book, I wanted to show that the struggle against racial injustice was a long process and continued well after the Civil War. I also wanted to show that Rochester’s own Frederick Douglass played a key role in the movement before, during and after the Civil War.”
The book has portraits of notable abolitionists, including William Lloyd Garrison, Anthony Benezet, Richard Allen and Angelica Grimké; and highlights their focus on social and political action. They employed conceivable means to attack slavery and racial injustice and helped bring down slavery.
They also inspired generations of reformers.
“The book shows that abolition was the first major social movement in American and global society and that it has influenced almost every reform struggle since the 19th century, including movements in our time such as #MeToo, Black Lives Matter and anti-sex struggles,” said Newman.
He first thought about writing this book after hosting a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on abolition for high school teachers in 2006 in Philadelphia.
The book is available at bookstores and through Amazon.com.