Little, Brown, Jan 2004, 27.95, 272 pp.
THE ROAD TO FREEDOM is a superb account of the American “Black Moses”, Harriet Tubman. The book actually opens with Ms. Tubman's last major public endeavor surprisingly (at least to this author) occurring in 1908 long after her famous role as an engineer of the Underground Railroad. The bio then shifts back to the early nineteenth century as Ms Tubman is born during ironically the “Era of Good Feeling” as a slave in Maryland. It follows her as she marries John Tubman, flees to Canada without him, joins John Brown, works as a Civil War nurse and spy, and of course the Underground Railroad.. Of interest is that Ms. Tubman not only advocated racial freedom, she championed women's suffrage.
Ms. Tubman's salad days lack insightful personal information due to her slave status and a 1850s fire. Therefore Ms. Clinton provides a general look at conditions for slaves in Eastern Shore, Maryland. This generalization enables the audience to infer how Harriet probably lived in her early years. Deeper insight is provided to her middle and later years this is a suburb account that biography readers will appreciate because it is well written, easy to follow, and loaded with plenty on interesting detail about a genuine American hero. Though the author too easily accepts the “legendary” Tubman as gospel, HARRIET TUBMAN: THE ROAD TO FREEDOM is an endearing educational and entertaining book that history buffs and biography aficionados will enjoy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner