Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book Review-- Am I Not A Man: The Dred Scott Story by Mark Shurtleff

I am thrilled to take part in reviewing a new book by Utah's Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff.
Now I'll admit that when I first saw info about this book, I wondered what it would be like. Would it be one of those celebrity type books with mediocre writing/story skill carried on the wings of a name?

I can tell you it's not one of those books. Mark Shurtleff is an excellent writer. He found a balance between just giving a history report and making history come alive.

I received a free advanced reader copy of the book and set to work reading it. I still had a hard time getting into the book. Sometimes it takes me a while to get a feel for and identify with different writing styles. And be warned that this is a book about history--it's overflowing with historical details on every page. As you read this book, you will come to know Dred Scott from his very origin to his growing years until he becomes a father and a free man.

I had difficulty following the timeline of the story because it jumps around a lot, back and forth from historical happenings when Dred was born to 50 years later, etc. The version of the book available to the public has a timeline so that should make it a tad easier to follow.

Even though I had a hard time getting into the book and at times felt like I was reading a history book instead of a dramatized history book, I still want you to read it. I think you will enjoy it. I think this book is of vital importance because it reminds us of where we have come as a nation and that we cannot stand idly by and allow atrocities to exist in our midst. It isn't slavery today in The United States of America that we have a problem with--it's many more things that are terrible, yet on the rise.

As you read this book, you'll come to know the Blow family and their amazing fortitude when it came to helping their friend and former slave, Dred Scott.

Are you worried about the 534 page count? I have pretty good stamina when it comes to reading. As a junior in high school, I read every single page of my American History book and that sucker was huge. I had a super-amazing teacher, Mr. Cazier who lectured every day with all kinds of amazing facts. I wish I could remember everything I read and heard, even though I've lost some of that info, it left an impression on me: I belong to a great nation of many freedoms and a colorful history that can teach us so much. Don't let the page count frighten you.

Once you immerse yourself in the life of Dred Scott you'll be just like me, rooting for him with every turn of the page, crying at the injustices that men placed upon other men because of the color of their skin, and asking yourself--How did I not know this before?

I learned so much from this book and to me that allows the book to soar pretty high in my personal ranking because I have a love of learning. I'm grateful to Mark Shurtleff for compiling the magnificent amount of history that he put into this book, for making it come to life, and for reaffirming what I already know about humanity--We are all children of God who loves us, despite our race, nationality, ethnicity, religious affiliation--we are all children of God.

Our Founding Fathers knew this truth and wanted this nation to be a free nation for ALL. I hope that you will have an opportunity to read this book and refresh your memory on the great building blocks this country was established.

I highly recommend purchasing your own copy of Am I Not A Man? The Dred Scott Story"
You can purchase this amazing book on Amazon
and it's also available on the Kindle

This book was published by Valor publishing and I received a free copy which in no way influenced my opinion of the book. I will always give an honest review of the books I read on this blog, categorized under Rachelle's Book Club. If you take a look at any of the other reviews I've posted on my sidebar, you'll see that this is definitely the truth. I share my opinion on the books I read and am happy to hear yours as well.


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