Official Review: Tears That Changed a Nation

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Latest Review: "Tears That Changed a Nation" by Charles L. Tucker
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Official Review: Tears That Changed a Nation

Post by barb429 » 21 Sep 2017, 11:34

[Following is an official review of "Tears That Changed a Nation" by Charles L. Tucker.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Charles L. Tucker’s Tears That Changed a Nation is a nonfiction book about Arminta (Minty) O’Banion, a former slave who lived to be 111 years old. Minty was born into slavery in 1788. Throughout her long life she came into contact with many well known figures in history. She knew the George Washington Family, was a nanny to Ulysses S. Grant, and worked for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s father.

Minty was one of the few slaves who was freed before the Civil War. Although she and her husband were given their freedom in 1816, they were forced to leave their children behind in slavery. Even after earning their freedom, their lives were not easy. The children that were born into freedom would not be able to earn a public education, it was difficult to find work, and they were still treated poorly by many.

Although Tears that Changed a Nation focuses on Minty’s life, it also gives information about the history, politics, and general sentiment toward slavery during the time period. It is interesting to read how attitudes towards slavery changed over time. This book covers not only what is known about Minty’s life, but also other information about the time period. I really enjoyed the appendix, which included information on each of the US presidents of Minty’s lifetime and what their views were on slavery. It was particularly interesting to see which presidents said that they were against slavery, yet did nothing to end it.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and seeing the time period through Minty’s eyes. Much of Tucker’s information came from old newspaper articles, journal entries, church documents, and other historical artifacts. Whenever facts were not available about certain aspects of Minty’s life, the author includes other information from the time period. For example, Tucker includes the popular games that Minty may have played as a child, or lyrics to songs she may have heard.

Although I did enjoy the book, I did find a few errors in the text. Wikipedia is cited in one section and spelled Wikepedia. There are also a couple of places with incomplete parenthesis. Other than these few errors, I felt as though the book was well researched, easy to read, and included many fascinating facts.
I give Tears that Changed a Nation three out of four stars. If you enjoy non-fiction books about the 1800’s, especially the Civil War era, then this book would be a great addition to your reading list. Other than the few errors, it was an excellent book.

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Post by Ubyamos » 22 Sep 2017, 17:29

Nice review.
I really love historical stories. From your review I think this will be a very nice read.

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Post by Zelinda » 22 Sep 2017, 17:31

The book sounds awesome; thank you for your review. I am hoping to read it and am also hoping that at least some of the book is based on comments or quotes directly from Minty.
“In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own.”
― Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

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Post by kandscreeley » 22 Sep 2017, 17:56

Sounds informative. The view from the eyes of a slave. I can only imagine what that was like. Thanks fur a good review.
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Post by RegularGuy3 » 23 Sep 2017, 13:35

Former slave ends up as Grant's nanny who lived to be 111? I can only imagine the breadth of experiences she lives. Thanks for the review.

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Post by Gifty Naa Akushia » 25 Sep 2017, 10:49

Good job, such a nice ride into history.

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Post by Abdiwali Tahlil » 08 Oct 2017, 22:17

The selectivity and the brief introduction of minty was an excellent book. Iam very happy to read and review this book later on.

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Post by Salsabila » 08 Oct 2017, 23:30

I am not really a fan of sad historical stories though this one seems like a good book.

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Post by Mindi » 10 Oct 2017, 13:04

I love to hear true stories from the Civil War period. This sounds like an interesting and informative book.

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Post by KeriCraven » 10 Oct 2017, 13:21

I adore historical stories. I often find myself watching the history channel. Not out of boredom but because I find history truky fascinating. From your review, I think this will be a wonderful boom to read

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Post by Kat Berg » 11 Oct 2017, 22:58

This is one of my favorite research topics and so the book sounds quite interesting. The errors sound like they would be easy enough to overlook and the writing carries them. I would be a little concerned about using the book as a resource, as Wikipedia is not generally considered a very scholarly acceptable citation source, but if it is only for my personal enjoyment, well then, why not?

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