I am trying to catch up on comments for books I have read in the recent past. Last year I read an enlightening biography of John Brown by David S. Reynolds. His book, John Brown, Abolitionist (subtitled: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights), impressed me in several ways. Reynolds thoroughly explored the connection between the leading Transcendentalists of New England and John Brown. He analyzes in-depth the violence on both sides in Kansas and provides a basis for attempting to understand the complexity of this man. He also provided an informative cultural background highlighting the activities in areas where Brown lived and raised his family. Well-written, the book was a good read and rival to the excellent biography of John Brown by Stephen Oates.
John Brown, Abolitionist by David S. Reynolds. Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.