Forgotten Firebrand: James Redpath and the Making of Nineteenth-Century America by John R. MckiviganForgotten Firebrand: James Redpath and the Making of Nineteenth-Century America by John R. Mckivigan

Forgotten Firebrand: James Redpath and the Making of Nineteenth-Century America

byJohn R. Mckivigan

Hardcover | March 14, 2008

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The reformer James Redpath (1833–1891) was a focal figure in many of the key developments in nineteenth-century American political and cultural life. He befriended John Brown, Samuel Clemens, and Henry George and, toward the end of his life, was a ghostwriter for Jefferson Davis. He advocated for abolition, civil rights, Irish nationalism, women's suffrage, and labor unions. In Forgotten Firebrand, the first full-length biography of this fascinating American, John R. McKivigan portrays the many facets of Redpath's life, including his stint as a reporter for the New York Tribune, his involvement with the Haitian emigration movement, and his time as a Civil War correspondent.

Examining Redpath's varied career enables McKivigan to cast light on the history of journalism, public speaking, and mass entertainment in the United States. Redpath's newspaper writing is credited with popularizing the stenographic interview in the American press, and he can be studied as a prototype for later generations of newspaper writers who blended reportage with participation in reform movements. His influential biography of John Brown justified the use of violent actions in the service of abolitionism.

Redpath was an important figure in the emerging professional entertainment industry in this country. Along with his friend P. T. Barnum, Redpath popularized the figure of the "impresario" in American culture. Redpath's unique combination of interests and talents—for politics, for journalism, for public relations—brought an entrepreneurial spirit to reform that blurred traditional lines between business and social activism and helped forge modern concepts of celebrity.

John R. McKivigan is the Project Director and Editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers and Mary O'Brien Gibson Professor of United States History at IUPUI.
Title:Forgotten Firebrand: James Redpath and the Making of Nineteenth-Century AmericaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.39 inPublished:March 14, 2008Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801446732

ISBN - 13:9780801446733

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Table of Contents

1. The Roving Editor
2. The Crusader of Freedom
3. Echoes of Harpers Ferry
4. Commissioner Plenipotentiary for Haiti
5. The Radical Publisher
6. Abolitionizing the South
7. The Redpath Lyceum Bureau
8. Entertainment Innovator
9. The Adopted Irishman
10. Jefferson Davis's Ghostwriter


Editorial Reviews

"The author makes a convincing case that Redpath has been 'one of the nation's most colorful and unjustly forgotten characters.' . . . What secondary scholarship about Redpath has failed to appreciate, according to McKivigan, was that he was unlike most political journalists, both before and in most cases since, who aspired to patronage or even elected office by finding ways to profit from literary support for unpopular causes. In McKivigan's words, a study of his life 'contributes to the scholarly appreciation of change and continuity in nineteenth-century American reform,' a reform movement that, thanks to the extensive work in this book, will not be forgotten."—Journalism History