Book Notice: For Adam’s Sake

For Adam's SakeWe want to call attention to our friend and colleague Allegra di Bonaventura’s new book For Adam’s Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England, which traces the astonishing story of five families in the first one hundred years of English settlement in Connecticut, including the families of shipwright-diarist Joshua Hempstead, his long-time slave, Adam, and the Native people of early New London County.  The book was featured in a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

 Allegra will be giving two local book talks:

* Friday, September 27, 2013 at 6 pm at the Yale Barnes & Noble, 77 Broadway, New Haven, CT

* Monday, October 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm at R. J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 

Joshua Hempstead’s manuscript diary is at the New London County Historical Society, a collaborative partner institution of the Yale Indian Papers Project.



 “An incomparably vivid panorama of colonial New England society and as enthralling a portrait of family life there as we are likely to have.” –Wall Street Journal

 “This is an extraordinary story about ordinary people in a pre-revolutionary New England family. Among the people are a master and his slave, the only account of such psychological depth I have seen in all the family histories of New England. Impeccably researched, elegantly written, For Adams’ Sake is a model of its kind.” (Joseph Ellis, author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation)

“A work of astonishing ingenuity, intellectual and emotional depth, and (most of all) brilliant writing.” (John Demos, author of The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America)

For Adam’s Sake achieves an amazing, seemingly impossible conjunction—the best book ever on New England family life and the best book ever on the family context of American slavery, neither pretty—a riveting story and great history based on astounding research.” (Jon Butler, author of Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776)

“Di Bonaventura’s lucid prose sometimes reaches something close to poetry… [Her] portrayal of Yankee slavery is acute and sensitive, without being sentimental…. In telling the Jacksons’ story, she has recovered from centuries of oblivion people of colonial America’s lowest order, restoring them not just to history, but also to their individuality and humanity. It is a mighty achievement.” (Fergus M. Bordewich – American Scholar)

“Di Bonaventura’s rich account complicates the traditional narrative of slavery and race in early America, showing the ways in which the peculiar institution was woven into the fabric of life in parts of New England.” (Annette Gordon-Reed, author of The Hemingses of Monticello)


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