Bound for Canaan

The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement

by Fergus Bordewich

On Sale: 01/10/2006

Bound for Canaan

The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement

by Fergus Bordewich

On Sale: 01/10/2006


About the Book

An important book of epic scope on America’s first racially integrated, religiously-inspired political movement for change—The Underground Railroad, a movement peopled by daring heroes and heroines, and everyday folk

For most, the mention of the Underground Railroad evokes images of hidden tunnels, midnight rides, and hairsbreadth escapes. Yet the Underground Railroad’s epic story is much more morally complex and politically divisive than even the myths suggest. Against a backdrop of the country’s westward expansion,which brought together Easterners who had engaged in slavery primarily in the abstract alongside slaveholding Southerners and their slaves, arose a clash of values that evolved into a fierce fight for nothing less than the country’s soul. Beginning six decades before the Civil War, freedom-seeking blacks and pious whites worked together to save tens of thousands of lives, often at the risk of great physical danger to themselves. Not since the American Revolution had the country engaged in an act of such vast and profound civil disobedience that not only subverted federal law but also went against prevailing mores.

Flawlessly researched and uncommonly engaging, Bound for Canaan, shows why it was the Underground Railroad and not the Civil Rights movement that gave birth to this country’s first racially-integrated, religiously-inspired movement for social change.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Well written, moving, and stimulating...Could provide the occasion for a constructive national conversation.” - New York Times

“A vivid reconstruction of abolitionism’s most daring act of rebellion...” - Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Rich in detail and solid storytelling: sure to awaken interest in the peculiar anti-institution.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“A rich, spellbinding, and readable narrative.” - School Library Journal (starred review)

“Rich in detail, [and] its ability to evoke the emotions, sights and sounds of these clandestine ventures.” - Black Issues Book Review

“Utterly compelling.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Dramatizes a shining moment in American history-- a book filled with unsung heroes and revolutionary acts of trust.” - O magazine

“Bound for Canaan recaptures this grand history with the insightfulness, comprehensiveness, and narrative vigor the subject demands.” - David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the two-volume life of W. E. B. Du Bois

“Bound For Canaan reveals in stunning detail and beautiful prose the inner workings of this clandestine system.” - --Kate Clifford, Ph.D. author of Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero

“This fast-paced narrative is the best account we have of the network known as the Underground Railroad.” - --James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

“A masterful story--a deeply American story.” - --Cornel West, University Professor of Religion, Princeton University, and author of Race Matters and Democracy Matters

“An excellent book . . .as close to a definitive history as we’re likely to see.” - Wall Street Journal

“A profoundly American tale.” - USA Today

“An important addition to our history, brilliantly told.” - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Engrossing account of the Underground Railroad.” - The New Yorker

“The . . stories. . . inspire, horrify and humble.” - Washington Post

“Bordewich brings to his account [of the Underghround Railroad] the moral seriousness it deserves.” - New York Review of Books

“Excellent...The first truly comprehensive treatment of the underground railroad.” - Civil War History Magazine


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780060524319
  • ISBN 10: 0060524316
  • Imprint: Amistad
  • On Sale: 01/10/2006
  • Pages: 592
  • List Price:18.50 CAD
  • BISAC1 : HISTORY / Social History
  • BISAC2 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
  • BISAC3 : HISTORY / United States / 19th Century

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