Jeffrey Amestoy

11 months ago by in Friday, History

Jeffrey Amestoy
Jeffrey Amestoy’s Slavish Shore: The Odyssey of Richard Henry Dana Jr (Harvard Univ. Press) is the “superb biography” of one of the most extraordinary Americans of the nineteenth century. In 1834 Harvard dropout Dana sailed to California as a common seaman. His account of the voyage, Two Years Before the Mast, quickly became an American classic. But literary acclaim could not erase the young lawyer’s memory of the brutal floggings he witnessed or undermine Dana’s vow to combat injustice. The “perfect extra-legal biographer” (Harvard Magazine) to portray Dana’s advocacy, Amestoy introduces readers to a zealous defender of black lives before the Civil War when America’s most powerful establishment—the Boston society in which Dana had been born and raised—was a “pro-slavery community.” Jeffrey Amestoy has served as Chief Justice of Vermont’s Supreme Court and previously as Attorney General. He was a fellow at the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School. See http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674088191