New York Burning by Jill Lepore
Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan

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Synopsis

Pulitzer Prize Finalist
Anisfield-Wolf Award Winner

Over a frigid few weeks in the winter of 1741, ten fires blazed across Manhattan. With each new fire, panicked whites saw more evidence of a slave uprising. In the end, thirteen black men were burned at the stake, seventeen were hanged and more than one hundred black men and women were thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall.

In New York Burning, Bancroft Prize-winning historian Jill Lepore recounts these dramatic events, re-creating, with path-breaking research, the nascent New York of the seventeenth century. Even then, the city was a rich mosaic of cultures, communities and colors, with slaves making up a full one-fifth of the population. Exploring the political and social climate of the times, Lepore dramatically shows how, in a city rife with state intrigue and terror, the threat of black rebellion united the white political pluralities in a frenzy of racial fear and violence.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Jill Lepore

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Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 352 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for New York Burning

Publishers Weekly

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Juilliard graduate and Broadway actress McDonald offers a wry and meaty interpretation of Lepore's intense social history of the Manhattan slave uprising of 1741. That winter, black and Spanish slaves

Aug 01 2005 | Read Full Review of New York Burning: Liberty, Sl...

The New York Times

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Hanging sedately on a wall, almost out of the way of the more elaborate displays in "Slavery in New York," the exhibition opening today at the New-York Historical Society, is a map of New York City created by a 76-year-old man, David Grim, in 1813.

Oct 07 2005 | Read Full Review of New York Burning: Liberty, Sl...

The New York Times

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Lepore relishes this precious addendum to Horsmanden's record - a contemporary witness skewering New York's slave terror as "the merciless flames of an Imaginary Plot."

Oct 02 2005 | Read Full Review of New York Burning: Liberty, Sl...

The New York Review of Books

In 1999, not long out of graduate school, she won the Bancroft Prize for The Name of War, an account of the hideous King Philip’s War of 1675–1676 between the Narragansett Indians and the Puritan settlers with whom they had lived at peace for many years, as well as a reflection on war and writing...

Oct 25 2012 | Read Full Review of New York Burning: Liberty, Sl...

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