"Hirshman's book is a lively depiction of the antislavery movement, in which the three charismatic characters at the heart of her story provide an engaging avenue into the competing philosophies and strategies that continually challenged abolitionism's unity and effectiveness. Her writing is breezy, designed to engage readers who are not historians and whose interests may lie more in the present than the past." – Washington Post
"Linda Hirshman has two goals. One is to tell the story of the American antislavery movement. This broad narrative provides background for the author's other focus, a group portrait of three deeply intertwined abolitionists [and reflects] the author's interest in the current 'lively and painful conversation about the possibility and conditions of an interracial alliance.'"
– Wall Street Journal
"Page-turning reading . . . . a wonderful cataloging of Americans, white and Black, who devoted their lives to ending slavery." – Boston Globe
"By lucidly untangling the abolitionist movement's complex web of alliances, Hirshman sheds light on the antebellum period and the dynamics of social movements in general. American history buffs will be engrossed." – Publishers Weekly
"Hirshman brings much-needed attention to the little-known triangulation between Garrison, Douglass, and Chapman, opening a new realm of inquiry for readers of the history of slavery and abolition." – Library Journal
"Linda Hirshman adroitly shows us that in the celebrated break up between Douglass and Garrison, a pivotal actor was Maria Weston Chapman. A brilliant but intrusive soul, Chapman stood watch over both men from a manager's desk in Boston. Beyond intrigue, though, this book provides a splendid lens into the nature of both the moral and political wings of abolitionism at their turbulent turning point. The ideologies of antislavery emerge here from vivid portraits of these three fascinating and rivalrous characters." – David W. Blight, Yale University, and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
"A rousing account of America's one truly great crusade, studded with fascinating characters playing for the highest of stakes: freedom."
– Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller
"Viewing the abolitionist movement from a unique angle, Hirshman shows how the breakdown of the alliance among [activists Frederick Douglass, William Llloyd Garrison, and Maria Weston Chapman] was fueled in part by Douglass' rising fame, burgeoning dissent among the nation's political parties, and, not least, Weston Chapman's aspersions about Douglass' work ethic and character. A well-researched history of the fraught path to emancipation." – Kirkus Reviews