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New York Burning

Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan

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Description

Pulitzer Prize Finalist
Anisfield-Wolf Award Winner

Over a frigid few weeks in the winter of 1741, ten fires blazed across Manhattan. With each new fire, panicked whites saw more evidence of a slave uprising. In the end, thirteen black men were burned at the stake, seventeen were hanged and more than one hundred black men and women were thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall.

In New York Burning, Bancroft Prize-winning historian Jill Lepore recounts these dramatic events, re-creating, with path-breaking research, the nascent New York of the seventeenth century. Even then, the city was a rich mosaic of cultures, communities and colors, with slaves making up a full one-fifth of the population. Exploring the political and social climate of the times, Lepore dramatically shows how, in a city rife with state intrigue and terror, the threat of black rebellion united the white political pluralities in a frenzy of racial fear and violence.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 01, 2005 – Juilliard graduate and Broadway actress McDonald offers a wry and meaty interpretation of Lepore's intense social history of the Manhattan slave uprising of 1741. That winter, black and Spanish slaves allegedly set 10 fires around the city, resulting in widespread panic and a draconian roundup of any slave who was rumored to be even tangentially involved in the conspiracy. McDonald does a fine job with the text, which is heavy on trial transcripts and newspaper reportage. Her voice and Lepore's descriptions create an almost visceral portrait of the events, including-note to the faint of heart-some shocking, CSI-worthy descriptions of the ensuing executions, which included burning at the stake. McDonald sometimes butchers the pronunciation of the Spanish names mentioned in the proceedings, but in general her rendering is spot-on, and her voice is by turns animated, disapproving or conspiratorial. The first two hours can be a bit abrupt and confusing, as this abridgment has omitted much of the background information that helped print readers make sense of the large cast of characters. However, this condensation makes for an exciting recital, and by the second half, listeners will be on the edge of their seats.
New York Burning
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Aug 23, 2005
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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