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All on Fire:
Born in poverty, and self-educated while working in a print shop, William Lloyd Garrison was one of the United States' greatest crusading editors, putting out a weekly anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator, for 35 years, beginning in 1831. A product of the rough and tumble political journalism of the day, Garrison wrote with extreme passion and from an uncompromising point of view. Yet the man who emerges from the pages of All on Fire is a deeply thoughtful person who, despite barely escaping lynch mobs himself, had a great sense of humor and a very polite demeanor. Historians have tended to minimize Garrison's impact on America, and some consider him a fringe character. But Henry Meyer, in this hefty biography, places Garrison at the center of his century, noting that Garrison's thought and tactics influenced not only the country's changing view of slavery, but also inspired the incipient feminist movement. The Lincoln administration noted Garrison's influence by inviting him to help raise the flag over the recaptured Fort Sumter. All on Fire goes into great detail on Garrison's life and work, providing the close and copious examination this activist's life fully deserves. --Robert McNamara [via]