by Daniel Rasmussen

HarperCollins, $26.99, 276 pages

The year was 1811. Emboldened by the success of a recent revolution in Haiti, five hundred slaves organized, armed themselves and advanced to New Orleans with every intention of claiming their freedom. In American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt, author Daniel Rasmussen presents a piece of our nation’s history that has remained in obscurity for two hundred years.

Rasmussen adds fresh research to the story of the 1811 revolt, ushering it into the context of slavery, the history of the South, and the ugly brutality our nation built itself on. This revolt sparked unlikely alliances and was a significant event leading up to the Civil War. While informative, it has little to offer those who are looking for a rich narrative. This reviewer feels that this event would be a fascinating premise for an historical fiction piece. Its appeal lies in the fact that this story has never gotten more than a brief mention in the history books, making great reading for anyone interested in history.

Reviewed by Alicia Swett