OVERRIDE

Midnight Rising

John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

Tony Horwitz, read by Dan Oreskes

Macmillan Audio

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
A Library Journal Top Ten Best Books of 2011
A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011

Bestselling author Tony Horwitz tells the electrifying tale of the daring insurrection that put America on the path to bloody war

Plotted in secret, launched in the dark, John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry was a pivotal moment in U.S. history. But few Americans know the true story of the men and women who launched a desperate strike at the slaveholding South. Now, Midnight Rising portrays Brown's uprising in vivid color, revealing a country on the brink of explosive conflict.

Brown, the descendant of New England Puritans, saw slavery as a sin against America's founding principles. Unlike most abolitionists, he was willing to take up arms, and in 1859 he prepared for battle at a hideout in Maryland, joined by his teenage daughter, three of his sons, and a guerrilla band that included former slaves and a dashing spy. On October 17, the raiders seized Harpers Ferry, stunning the nation and prompting a counterattack led by Robert E. Lee. After Brown's capture, his defiant eloquence galvanized the North and appalled the South, which considered Brown a terrorist. The raid also helped elect Abraham Lincoln, who later began to fulfill Brown's dream with the Emancipation Proclamation, a measure he called "a John Brown raid, on a gigantic scale."

Tony Horwitz's riveting book travels antebellum America to deliver both a taut historical drama and a telling portrait of a nation divided—a time that still resonates in ours.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

October 16, 1859

"Men, get on your arms," the Captain said. "We will proceed to the Ferry."

It was eight at night, an autumn Sunday, silent and dark in the Maryland hills. A horse-drawn wagon pulled up to the log house and the men loaded it with pikes, tools, torches, and gunpowder. The Captain put on the battered cap he'd worn in Bleeding Kansas. Then he climbed on the wagon and the men marched behind, down a dirt lane, past a snake-rail fence, onto the road to Harpers Ferry.

There were eighteen men, not counting the Captain. Almost all were in their twenties

READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

MEDIA

Watch

  • Trailer For Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz

    Bestselling author Tony Horwitz tells the electrifying tale of the daring insurrection that put America on the path to bloody war.

  • Tony Horwitz Reads From Midnight Rising

    Tony Horwitz Reads From Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War.

  • Tony Horwitz Interviewed on PBS Newshour

    Tony Horwitz discusses Midnight Rising on PBS Newshour

MORE MEDIA Access more related media on the web

BACK

REVIEWS

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Tony Horwitz, read by Dan Oreskes

  • Tony Horwitz is the bestselling author of Midnight Rising, A Voyage Long and Strange, Blue Latitudes, Confederates in the Attic, and Baghdad Without a Map. He is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has worked for The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. He lives in Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Geraldine Brooks, and their two sons.

  • Tony Horwitz Randi Baird
    Tony Horwitz
BACK

COMMUNITY

TheHistoryReader.com

    MORE BLOG POSTS
    BACK

    READING GUIDE

    OTHER GUIDES

    Teacher's Guide
    BACK

    BUY THE BOOK

    Available Formats and Book Details

    Midnight Rising

    John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

    Tony Horwitz, read by Dan Oreskes

    Library Journal Best Books of the Year
    BACK

    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Macmillan Audio

    BACK