Fierce Rebellion by Stephen B. Oates Essay

Fierce Rebellion by Stephen B. Oates Essay

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Fierce Rebellion by Stephen B. Oates



The book Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion (New York, Ny: Harper Perennial, 1990) by Stephen B. Oates portrays a slave rebellion and uprising in the 1830’s. Oates has written many books on American history and his style of writing makes his books readable and popular. He has become a unique storyteller of his time, in his book he tells of a transformation that changed the city of South Hampton, Virginia forever, an unspeakable action heard throughout the whole nation and insurrection. What is an insurrection? It is a rebellion, revolution, mutiny and uprising, a concept that has never lost hope in African-American slaves.
Born in Pampa, Texas, Stephen B. Oates has been known for his distinguished books of American history and has received many honorable awards. Despite his early years in pursuing a business career, he ended up specializing in American history. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) in 1958. Having received his Masters in 1960 and nine years later, his PhD in education, Oates has been a lecturer and guest speaker at many colleges and has appeared on television and radio. One of his notable awards includes the Master Teacher Award from the University of Hartford in 1985. He was a semi finalist in the National Professor of the Year competition winning the silver medal that same year. He has nearly 35 years of teaching experience and is currently a professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He also holds membership in the Society of American Historians, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Texas Institute of Letters. In his books, Oates has been recognized for writing controversia...


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...tality and the aftermath of the white’s slaughtering the innocent black slaves. In the beginning, and again near the end of the novel, some aspects of what the author was trying to interpret were a bit confusing. Oates enlightens the reader on governor Floyd’s position in not liberating the slaves, but at the end Floyd changes his position and contemplates freeing the slaves to stop any future rebellions. This aspect of the book was to some extent hard to capture because of the way Oates interpreted Floyd as a strong governor in the beginning.
The ideals and theology of Stephen B. Oates book Fire of Jubilee captures a sensitive era. Even today, many Blacks in South Hampton County consider Nat’s insurrection as a legend of possibly one of the first slave rebellions that took place. I would recommend this book to any student who is interested in American History.

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