The story of Sojourner Truth is well-known within antislavery literature.  This narrative, first written with the aid of a white woman, Olive Gilbert in 1850, was reprinted in 1875 with additional notes by Mrs. Francis W. Titus. The most recent publication which is the subject of this post was published by Ebony Classics in 1970.
Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in Upstate New York in 1825. Slavery at the large farms along the Hudson was common in that period. She was one of thirteen children  and most of her siblings were sold by the age of ten. She herself had five owners, and her five children were also enslaved, one of whom she managed to retrieve. That story is a riveting part of the narrative.

This remarkable woman  through her own determination  and with no education  became an extraordinary force in the antislavery and  early women’s movement. Standing six feet tall and wearing  a turban she spoke the language of enslaved people and often delivered her message through poetry and song. She had become such a force by the time of her death in 1883 that this “ high priestess of righteousness and equality “ had earned private audiences with both Presidents Lincoln  and Grant.  Historians place Sojourner’s influence only behind that of Harriet Tubman. She knew the “ hell of slavery” and spoke for the millions of women who had no voice. She said of her meeting with Lincoln, ” As I was taking my leave, he arose and took my hand, and said he would be pleased to have me call again.  I felt that I was in the presence of a friend, and now I thank God from the bottom of my heart that I always have advocated for his cause.”

Don’t miss the significance of the title “ BOOK OF LIFE.”  This is a rare personal glimpse into a world that can only  be elucidated by one who lived it.  You may well feel Sojourner’s presence.


Born To Run is a compelling, required read for every Bruce Springsteen fan. This autobiography is so real the ink on the pages become the juices of life and the soul and sound of his music. Add an in-depth  understanding of this unique human, talent, writer, troubadour  and survivor.


Born To Run is a marvelous book for all  because it is the genuine and believable story behind Springsteen’s stardom. There is not an ounce of vanity among the pages.  It is  a story of how music is made, songs are written and why honesty and credibility count.

Born To Run is extraordinary in its humanity. It is a loving memoir of a relationship between father and son, of human survival, friendships and of the struggle to find true love amidst the perils of stardom.

Born To Run is a masterpiece, seven years in the writing. Whether or not you have ever attended a concert of the E Street Band, or purchased one of  Springsteen’s mega hits, this autobiography is important.

It all begins with the song!

” My records are always the sound of someone trying to understand where to place his mind and heart. I imagine a life, I try it on, then see how it fits. I walk in someone else’s shoes, down the sunny and dark roads.”

” Something as seemingly inconsequential as music does certain things very well. There’s a coming together and a lifting, a fortifying, that occurs when people gather and move in  time with one another. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Anthem’s from an artist who came from a dead-end, took a road less traveled and found incomprehensible success. Trust me. You will quickly understand.  Born To Run is beautiful.









It is astonishing to this reader that Solomon Northrop’s narrative TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE lay silent in literary archives for over 100 years. Each compelling paragraph cries out to be voiced and has not lost one syllable over the decades, as indicted in the book’s dedication to Harriet Beecher Stowe whose Uncle Tom’s Cabin is throughout the world, identified with the reform of slavery.


I have seen the Oscar-winning motion picture but if you have not I urge you to read the book first. No film could begin to capture the depth and emotion evoked in the 336 pages of this personal narrative. By reading the book, the movie will become enormously more meaningful because it fills in all of the subtleties that could not possibly be accomplished by directors and editors.

“The institution that tolerates such wrong and inhumanity as I have witnessed, is a cruel,unjust and barbarous one.  Men may write fictions portraying lowly life but let them toil with him in the field, sleep with him in the cabin, feed with him on husks; let them behold him scourged, hunted, trampled on, and they will come back with another  story in their mouths. ”   Northrup’s narrative describes how the ” institution ” passed from father to son. ” Mounted on his pony the 12-year-old child  rides into the field with his whip playing the overseer , greatly to the father’s delight.  Without discrimination he applies the rawhide, urging the slaves forward with shouts, while the old man laughs and commends him as a thorough-going boy.’

Solomon Northrup , in his own words: ” This is no fiction, no exaggeration.  If I have failed in anything, it has been in presenting to  the reader too prominently the bright side of the picture.Those who read this book may form their own opinions of this peculiar institution.”

TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, the book and the movie combine to make a powerful testament to one of the darkest periods in American history.