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The Life and the Life Stories
Jean M. Humez
Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography
William L. Andrews, General Editor
"Harriet Tubman is a crucial figure in African American history, and yet there are surprisingly few studies of her, and no definitive biographies. Jean Humez's book addresses, then, a pressing need for a comprehensive book on Tubman, and it satisfies that need by presenting both a biography of Tubman and a selection of the life stories that were published about Tubman from 1820-1940.
There is a strong classroom need for a comprehensive book on Tubman, and there is sure to be interest among scholars, historians, and general readers interested in slavery, the underground railroad, the Civil War, and African American women. The book is also a great addition to our autobiography series, iintersecting with our growing lists in women's studies, Civil War studies, and African American women, and will offer a nice complement to our four-volume In Praise of Black Women."
"Read with the care Humez's introduction to the documentary section of her book prescribes, the collection of Tubman sources she has assembled provide the basis for a far fuller and more complex portrait than has hitherto been available. These contemporary observations and descriptions present Tubman at once in her ordinariness and her extraordinariness, render her as both real and impossibly heroic, and offer us the best opportunity to begin to understand how and why Harriet Tubman ''rocked the world.'"Drew Gilpin Faust, New York Times Book Review, Feb 15, 2004
For Mr. Faust's complete review, see New York Times Book Review
"Humez's long-awaited biography of Tubman is the definitive scholarly work."Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University
"I see Harriet Tubman: the Life and the Life Stories as the most important book on Tubman in the last fifty years."William L. Andrews
"'Harriet Tubman: The Life and Life Stories' may be the most comprehensive book on Tubman to date. Humez's book is extremely well researched, and her writing is both incisive and accessible, making it an excellent resource for students as well as for the general reader, interested in learning more about Tubman's life or black women's roles in antislavery activism." Denise Simon, BLACK ISSUES BOOK REVIEW, February 2004 New York, NY
"Part biography, part literary analysis. Humez's remarkable understanding or previous Tubman biographies and accounts of Tubman's own stories expose the ways Tubman's legend was created, revealing the very skilled woman who directed her storytellers' art." Gary Dorsey, BALTIMORE SUN, January 25, 2004
Jean M. Humez is professor of women's studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston and is the author of Gifts of Power, and Mother's First-Born Daughters and coeditor of Gender, Race, and Class in the Media. She has written numerous articles on African American women's spiritual autobiographies and on mediated autobiographical texts.
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