Item description for Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad by Ann Hagedorn...
Overview Traces the story of John Rankin and the heroes of the Ripley, Ohio, line of the Underground Railroad, identifying the pre-Civil War conflicts between abolitionists and slave chasers along the Ohio River banks.
Publishers Description From the highest hill above the town of Ripley, Ohio, you can see five bends in the Ohio River. You can see the hills of northern Kentucky and the rooftops of Ripley's riverfront houses. And you can see what the abolitionist John Rankin saw from his house at the top of that hill, where for nearly forty years he placed a lantern each night to guide fugitive slaves to freedom beyond the river. In "Beyond the River, " Ann Hagedorn tells the remarkable story of the participants in the Ripley line of the Underground Railroad, bringing to life the struggles of the men and women, black and white, who fought "the war before the war" along the Ohio River. Determined in their cause, Rankin, his family, and his fellow abolitionists -- some of them former slaves themselves -- risked their lives to guide thousands of runaways safely across the river into the free state of Ohio, even when a sensational trial in Kentucky threatened to expose the Ripley "conductors." Rankin, the leader of the Ripley line and one of the early leaders of the antislavery movement, became nationally renowned after the publication of his "Letters on American Slavery, " a collection of letters he wrote to persuade his brother in Virginia to renounce slavery. A vivid narrative about memorable people, "Beyond the River" is an inspiring story of courage and heroism that transports us to another era and deepens our understanding of the great social movement known as the Underground Railroad.
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Studio: Simon & Schuster
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.38" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.86" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Feb 6, 2004
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 0684870665 ISBN13 9780684870663
Availability 2 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 11:44.
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More About Ann Hagedorn
Ann Hagedorn has been a staff writer for "The Wall Street Journal" and has taught writing at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Her previous books are "Wild Ride, Ransom", "Beyond the River", and "Savage Peace".
Ann Hagedorn currently resides in Ripley, in the state of Ohio.
Reviews - What do customers think about Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad?
Beyond the River Jul 29, 2007
Author Ann Hagedorn, who moved "on location" to complete her research and add inspiration to her writing, offers a rarely seen individual account of the underground railroad. Most other books on the topic take a view from 50,000 feet. Hagedorn focuses in on one river (the Ohio), two states (Ohio and Kentucky), and one man (John Rankin). The abolitionist work of this Presbyterian minister (whose letters about abolition are a crucial primary source) serves as the backdrop and foreground for Hagedorn's exposition. Though focused on Rankin, the author does not fail to provide compelling real-life stories of many other "key players" both slave and free. For a compelling, unique read of the courageous men and women conducting the underground railroad, "Beyond the River" is the book to read.
Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction , Spiritual Friends, and Soul Physicians.
Beyond the River earns 'Notable Book' designation Feb 26, 2004
Beyond the River was just named one of the American Library Association's Notable Books for 2004. The annual list is highly regarded and identifies 25 very good, very readable and very important books.
This is a tremendous honor for Beyond the River and one that is richly deserved; this book lovingly weaves together tales of the abolitionist heroes in the town of Ripley, Ohio in the years leading up to the Civil War.
A unique and facinating perspective Dec 3, 2003
Ann Hagedorn offers the reader a captivating perspective on America's struggle with slavery in her work, "Beyond the River." The uniqueness of her work eminates from two particular aspects of her work, both of which begin with the way she takes her subject out of the macro world of politics and economics into the smaller world of the lives of the people effected by the souths 'peculiar institution.' Looking slavery through the eyes of individuals, the reader gains a far greater appreciation of the suffering, torment, and most of all, the fear generated by those who stood in opposition.
Interesting also is the location the author focuses on, the Ohio River where on one side men are free and on the other live in chains. Most texts present slavery at great distances, like The Carolinas an and New York. Here we see just how intimate the slavery and the abolitionist could be and the blood spilled by both sides.
Most importantly, Hagedorn writes in a cool clear voice that is enjoyable and informative. She delivers facts and passion in the same sentence without ever becoming melodramatic or shrill. Readers who enjoy this fictional work may also want to look at "Cloudsplitter," Richard Bank's novel on The Brown family's war on slavery.
A Book that Makes You Think Nov 3, 2003
This is a great read, suspenseful and thoughtful, one of the best page-turners I have read in a long while. I strongly recommend the book to anyone, of any race, of any religion, and from any part of the U.S. It has made me reflect on what 'weak' creatures most of us are when it comes to moral risk-taking, and how courageous other Americans in the past have been. This is a book that will make you feel very humble about how 'morally righteous' you really are.
Unlike one of the other reviewers, I have enjoyed reading the 'large blocks of text'--the original written voice of the people livng at the time, and their [lists of] names make the events very real. These folks were a whole lot more articulate than myself--read this book!
Don't Miss this Gem! Oct 13, 2003
So you think you know all about the Underground Railroad, the secret network that fugitive slaves used to escape bondage? Try this quiz:
1. Once they reached one station of the UGRR, how did fugitives reach the next station?
2. What role did women and children play in the UGRR?
3. What religious group do you associate with the UGRR?
So those questions are easy? Try these:
4. What connection did Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, have with Ripley?
5. How many years did the citizens of tiny Ripley, Ohio serve as major players in the Underground Railroad?
Ann Hagedorn answers all these questions and more in Beyond the River. In her skillful hands, a century and a half fades away and the people of Ripley spring to life. By day, they live a surprisingly civilized life-- none of those rustic log cabins and barefooted trips to the outhouse that you read about in many attempts to bring history alive. By night, the sophisticated network of friends and neighbors bands together for one purpose: "a solemn promise to fight slavery until it is dead or the Lord calls me home."
As a girl in the 1960's, I traveled through Ripley, Ohio a couple of times a year to visit my grandparents. I knew a little about the Rankin family and the Underground Railroad from reading the historical marker near Rankin House, but until Ann Hagedorn's book, the story of Ripley was lost history. Read Beyond the River the first time for the gripping story, the second time for the historical accuracy, and the third time for the inspiration to make our world a better place.