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Patriot's Reward [Hardcover]

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Item description for Patriot's Reward by Stephen Clarkson...

Patriot's Reward is a fictional tale about a real-life slave owned by the author's ancestor in Portsmouth, New Hampshire during the American Revolution. His struggle to be free leads him to heroism in battles at Quebec, Lake Champlain, Bennington and Saratoga, and finally to a petition to the NH Legislature for his freedom. Clarkson's extensive research adds depth to this fast paced story.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 15, 2007
Publisher   Peter E Randall Publisher
ISBN  1931807566  
ISBN13  9781931807562  

Availability  0 units.

More About Stephen Clarkson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Stephen Clarkson is in the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto.
Marjorie Griffin Cohen is Professor of Political Science and Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Stephen Clarkson was born in 1937.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical

Reviews - What do customers think about Patriot's Reward?

Revelations  Jun 11, 2007
Good historical fiction can, I think, have at least two positive effects. It can attract readers to history in the first place. In addition, it can present historical facts in an exciting and compelling narrative. "Patriot's Reward" has been successful in both these respects.

Because it is conceived as the struggle for freedom of Will Clarkson, an African slave in New Hampshire belonging (?) to the author's ancestors, it personalizes a time and place in American history remote to us now that has a good deal of mythology associated with it. But in describing the practice of slavery in New England, the role of African Americans in the War of Independence, and the failure of America to acknowledge the positive role of those people and resolve the issue at the founding of the nation, it provides important facts on the practice of slavery outside the plantation South.

I like the book because it is a "good read" on an interesting subject. I like the book because I like history and because I know too little about slavery in the North. And I like the notes,interestingly and in particular, because I believe they are unusual in historical fiction, because they are succinct but informative on the actual historical events, and because they admit to and identify the places where the author has chosen to alter history for dramatic effect.

Reading "Patriot's Reward" may be its own reward if it exposes the readers to little-known American history and reveals to them how Americans really are so very often connected in unexpected ways.
A profoundly involving novel  Jun 10, 2007
Patriot's Reward is a historical novel deeply grounded in research and attention to detail. Set in America in the latter half of the 1700's, Patriot's Reward follows the adventures of Will Clarkson, a young African enslaved in New Hampshire, who hates living in bondage and years for the same freedoms that his white owners battle for. He fights with distinction in the American Revolution, but at what cost, and for what reward? Written by a descendent of the slaveowning family that once kept Will Clarkson as property, Patriot's Reward is a profoundly involving novel about an African-American ripped from his original culture who fiercely persevered and adapted to his new culture.
Patriot's Reward is a rewarding read for introspective readers  Apr 19, 2007
If you're willing to ask yourself difficult, perhaps unanswerable, questions about moral choices and ethical decisions made by characters in the fiction and non-fiction you read, Patriot's Reward will be a joy for you to read.

The story is that of Will Clarkson, a well-educated slave brought from Senegal to New Hampshire where he dedicates himself to one thing: fighting for his freedom (and later for that of his wife and family). Clarkson fought not in the Civil War, but in the Revolutionary War, on the side of the Colonists.

Clarkson -- the author (he is a direct descendant of the real life Will Clarkson's original owner) -- paints with a full palate whether we're talking about his descriptions of important battles or the broad range of attitudes that people, including the slaves themselves, had about the institution of slavery.

Remarkably, the story is timeless as the parallels can be drawn to current events, from war to racial tensions and misunderstandings. And because Clarkson's slave saga occurs in New England, we have a greater sense of the story's appeal to all Americans.

The greatest reward, however, is in store for those who approach this with an open mind, willing to ask questions about their own character and possible choices if they stood in the shoes of the various characters from history that Clarkson animates for us. Rather than infusing us with a specific slate of moral values, Clarkson leads us to the precipice and leaves us on our own to make the final step. He weaves in the complexities and nuances of the slavery issue -- yes, nuances to what should be a clear-cut choice -- and he does so without needlessly complicating his manuscript.

As we begin to understand and even appreciate the reluctance of some slave owners to set their slaves free, we realize that Clarkson has successfully transported us back to a time when Americans did not have the benefit of hindsight and history to guide them.

This historical novel is highly accessible and, by setting this in New England during the Revolutionary War, the story doesn't get bogged down in first having to explain the internal conflicts Americans still harbor over the root causes of the Civil War. And because many Southerners feel they're being attacked or that they need to apologize for slavery, the New England setting allows even Southern readers to approach the subject without the usual shackles that prevent them from fully digesting a text that focuses on slavery and freedom in America.

Whatever you do, don't allow yourself to be fooled by the fact that Patriot's Reward is an easy and highly accessible read. It is every bit as rewarding to introspective readers as far more long-winded tomes and treatises from well-known historian-authors.
A Most Rewarding Experience  Apr 19, 2007
"Patriot's Reward" tells a story of slavery in the North, in New England. It is a little known part of American history. Because of the Civil War, most of us know of slavery in the South, particularly in the 1800s. We generally regard the North as the home of those who deplored and destroyed slavery. This fascinating story of an African slave, who was actually owned by one of the author's ancestors in New England, uses real history and facts to create a wonderful piece of historical fiction that illuminates an overlooked part of American history. The book grew on me. As I read, it became increasingly interesting and captivating, and I had a very hard time putting it down as I reached the last 100 pages. The author succeeds in putting a human face and personality on the cruel practice of slavery, and integrates it with politics and commerce of the 1700s in New England.

The fact that this black patriot, and others, fought in pre-Revolutionary battles and in America's war for independence is seldom reported and acknowledged. Black patriots have risen to the occasion in every American war. The outright hostility these patriots faced has been repeated in 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Indian wars in the West, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. It is sad, and rather amazing, how with each war the hopes of blacks for freedom and equality were dashed following the end of the conflict.

This story illustrates that the hope which the American dream represents persists and inspires men, all men, despite harsh actions taken by some men against others. While the reward often come up empty, the American promise is a powerful motivator. The time invested in reading this excellent book offers its own reward.

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