Word by Word by Christopher Hager
Emancipation and the Act of Writing

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Consigned to illiteracy, American slaves left little record of their thoughts and feelings—or so we have believed. But a few learned to use pen and paper to make sense of their experiences, despite prohibitions. These authors’ perspectives rewrite the history of emancipation and force us to rethink the relationship between literacy and freedom.

About Christopher Hager

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Christopher Hager is Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Trinity College, Hartford.
Published February 14, 2013 by Cambridge, Massachusetts. 328 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Hager (English and American Studies/Trinity Coll.) debuts with an examination of the emerging literacy of slaves and former slaves in the decades around the Civil War.

Dec 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Word by Word: Emancipation an...

Publishers Weekly

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In this revelatory hybrid of history and textual analysis, Hager argues that the act of writing—often in defiance of states’ antiliteracy laws—was an exceedingly potent form of self-empowerment for these oppressed men and women, never mind their poor spelling and unorthodox methods (one pot...

Dec 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Word by Word: Emancipation an...

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