Sunday, November 19, 2017
Book Review: Never Caught
AUTHOR: Erica Armstrong Dunbar
PUBLISHED: February 7th, 2017
PREMISE: A non-fiction book that looks into the slave Ona Judge, who ran away from George and Martha Washington.
MY REVIEW: I wanted to read this one almost as soon as I heard about it. Most people do not go into the fact that the founding fathers owned slaves. In fact, some people go out of their way to ignore it. Or try to paint it in a rosy "well, they treated them with kindness so it was like...okay!" light. Look at all the ways people try to romanticize Jefferson having sex with his slaves (or in some cases, outright say it didn't happen because that doesn't fit their world view of Jefferson).
For the most part, I did like this one a lot. Unfortunately...it didn't go enough into Ona Judge's story. I think the author just didn't have enough solid information. Half of the stuff about Ona is in fact, speculation on the author's part. Logical speculation, sure. She does present all the facts she has and show you how she comes to her conclusions...but ultimately....it's speculation.
The far more interesting thing to me here was the deep look into pre-Civil War attitudes about slavery. I really wish the book had actually been more about this, because that a) had solid information and b) was just more interesting because it is a thing that most people just don't go into. It was nice having a book that did not wax poetic about George Washington for a change. Sorry guys, he was flawed. All the founding fathers were flawed. Yes, they did great things. But they were also human beings with many faults. I personally would love a book that focused on the founding fathers and their views on slavery because there is a bit in this book that goes into it a little and it's pretty fascinating (and also disturbing sometimes when you consider the mental gymnastics some of them had to have done to justify their views).
WHO SHOULD READ: those interested in american history
MY RATING: Four out of Five looks at things people don't often talk about