Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Am I Not a Man? The Dred Scott Story

What a privilege it is to share with you my thoughts about Mark Shurtleff's book, "Am I Not A Man? The Dred Scott Story." I expected this book to be an important story and it did not disappoint.

It holds a magnifying glass to a pivotal moment in the history of our nation. Not the gun fired by an advancing army or the election of a president, but the moment that turned the tide of public opinion and apathy into an inferno of action and decision that led ultimately to the Civil War. It is a story of determination, faith in God and Justice, hope, friendship, loyalty and freedom.

Shurtleff weaves moving passages of narrative with historical accounts and events in a rich tapestry of story. There is a range of perspectives in the story from the main character, Dred Scott, to historical figures through generations. The enormity of Dred Scott's case is described through an array of times and places and people. At times the different characters and histories slow down the story and take it from a 'quick-read' to a more thoughtful inspiring novel. If you are looking for something to get your heart pumping and the adrenaline flowing with fast paced action then this is not what you're looking for. It will appeal to history buffs and to students of the Constitution. Anyone who wants to know, feel, and ponder the injustices of man will find all of it in this story.
Overall I feel like this story is something I can recommend to all of my friends as one of those stories that it is important to remember. Read it, love it, and live more like Dred Scott the 'little giant."


  1. Nice review, Donna. It sounds like an interesting read.

  2. Thanks for the review, Donna.

    And on a completely unrelated topic, a few of us went to dinner last night with Bree Despain, amazing author of the upcoming "Dark Divine". Just want to say that I am so impressed with her journey into author-hood and can't wait to read the ARC she gave us last night :)

  3. Thanks for the review, Donna. I've found Mark's book to be very informative and inspiring. There were times when he relayed scenes of great emotion and time my heart was actually pounding. But yes, you are right, it is a powerful history of that time in our nation which led up to the Civil War, the election of Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation.

    "Am I Not a Man? The Dred Scott Story" is available at stores across the nation and online stores across the internet.