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Driven Toward Madness : The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner and Tragedy on the Ohio
by Nikki M. Taylor


Overview -

Jon Gjerde Prize for Best Book in Midwestern History (Midwestern History Association), Honorable Mention

Margaret Garner was the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture just outside of Cincinnati, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery.  Read more...


 
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More About Driven Toward Madness by Nikki M. Taylor
 
 
 
Overview

Jon Gjerde Prize for Best Book in Midwestern History (Midwestern History Association), Honorable Mention

Margaret Garner was the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture just outside of Cincinnati, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery. Her story has inspired Toni Morrison's Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera. Yet, her life has defied solid historical treatment. In Driven toward Madness, Nikki M. Taylor brilliantly captures her circumstances and her transformation from a murdering mother to an icon of tragedy and resistance.

Taylor, the first African American woman to write a history of Garner, grounds her approach in black feminist theory. She melds history with trauma studies to account for shortcomings in the written record. In so doing, she rejects distortions and fictionalized images; probes slavery's legacies of sexual and physical violence and psychic trauma in new ways; and finally fleshes out a figure who had been rendered an apparition.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780821421604
  • ISBN-10: 0821421603
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publish Date: December 2016
  • Page Count: 180
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds

Series: New Approaches to Midwestern History

Related Categories

Books > History > African American
Books > Social Science > Slavery
Books > History > United States - State & Local - Midwest

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-10-31
  • Reviewer: Staff

Taylor (Americas First Black Socialist), professor of African-American history at Texas Southern University, rehabilitates the image of Margaret Garner, who escaped slavery and, in 1856, murdered her infant daughter rather than see her taken back into bondage. A number of abolitionists saw Garners actions as heroic, but popular opinion excoriated her as an unnatural woman and a monstrous mothera Modern Medea. Garners story largely disappeared from the public eye until resuscitated through Toni Morrisons celebrated 1987 novel Beloved. Taylor focuses on the psychological damage that Garner and other enslaved people suffered, and on the extent to which her actions resulted from this unending bodily and spiritual abuse. Deploying perspectives from feminist analysis and trauma theory, Taylor vividly portrays the sufferings Garner and her family endured under slavery and in their attempt to escape from it, placing their experiences in the wider context of the antebellum Midwest. For those familiar with the experiences of enslaved women in relation to sexuality, motherhood, and violence, little here will come as a surprise, but readers of Morrisons novel will likely appreciate the ways that Taylor illuminates the gendered experience of enslavement and the dialectic by which the victims of violence may in turn become its perpetrators. Illus. (Dec.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews