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Five for Freedom at the 9th Annual Gaithersburg Book Festival

May 19, 2018 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


I was thrilled to be a Featured Author at this 9th annual book festival held at the Gaithersburg, Md. City Hall grounds.  I discussed my new book FIVE FOR FREEDOM: The African American Soldiers in John Brown’s Army, a story from the past that very much resonates in the present. The rain did not dampen the event.

Inside the James Michener Tent, I shared a stage with Paula Tarnapol Whitacre, author of A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time. Our topic: “Lives of Abolitionists: Learn about Civil War activists who devoted their lives to the cause of ending slavery in the United States.”  Our moderator was Will Pittman, a longtime friend and colleague. The discussion was broadcast on C-SPAN, and the entire 55-minutes can be viewed by clicking here.

The five men about whom I spoke have long been overshadowed by their martyred leader, treated if at all as footnotes to this watershed event in our history that most historians agree was a catalyst to the bloody civil war that followed.  I write – and spoke — about the world into which they were born and grew up, how their paths converged at this fateful time and place, their families, their lives and deaths and the aftermath, their lasting legacies that have affected generations not only of their descendants but of us all.

With the “official” publication June 1, this was a delightful “soft launch” which I thoroughly enjoyed.

In advance of publication, Hidden Figures author Margot Lee Shetterly had this to say about FIVE FOR FREEDOM:

“Eugene Meyer has given the story of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry new meaning and relevance by restoring Brown’s black collaborators to their rightful place in historyFive for Freedom elevates the names Newby, Anderson, Copeland, Leary, and Green to stand with Brown as individuals who were willing to sacrifice their own lives to rid our country of the horror of chattel slavery.”




May 19, 2018
11:00 am - 12:30 pm