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2021-2022 Common Reading Selection  

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The vote for the next Shepherd University Common Reading has ended and the winner is…  Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedomby Catherine Clinton, 2005 (304 pg.). This biography will serve as the 2021-2022 common reading next fall and spring semesters. 
Celebrated for her exploits as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman is one of nineteenth-century America’s most enduring and important figures. Every schoolchild knows of her heroic escape and resistance to slavery, but few readers are aware that she went on to be a scout, a spy, and a nurse for the Union Army, because there has never before been a serious biography for an adult audience of this important woman.  To John Brown, leader of the Harper’s Ferry slave uprising, she was General Tubman. For the many slaves she led north to freedom, she was “Moses”. To the slaveholders who sought her capture, she was a thief with a $40,000 bounty on her head. To abolitionists, she was a prophet. In this compelling biography, widely praised for its impeccable research and narrative, Harriet Tubman is revealed for the first time as a singular and complex character, and a woman who defied simple categorization. With scholarship that draws on newly available sources and research into the daily lives of slaves, “Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom” is an enduring work on one of the most important figures in American history.

“A thrilling reading experience. It expands outward from Tubman’s individual story to give a sweeping, historical vision of slavery.” –NPR’s Fresh Air

“The definitive biography of one of the most courageous women in American history reveals Harriet Tubman to be even more remarkable than her legend.” –Newsday

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The Common Reading Program is made possible through the generous support of the Shepherd University Foundation.