What will Kentucky Book Festival visitors find on your table?
Navigating Liberty: Black Refugees and Antislavery Reformers in the Civil War South deals with the interaction between slaves who escaped to Federal lines and Northerners (civilian volunteers and Military officials) who worked with them. This involved obtaining necessities and working toward revising wartime society and economy toward.
Fort Pillow, a Civil War Massacre, and Public Memory (if the Festival decides to include it) covers the history of the site from its construction by Confederates through the book’s publication. It includes relevant wartime issues (military, political, social, and economic), as well as the debate over the massacre’s occurrence.
Whom do you invite to stop by? Who will benefit from reading your book?
The general public, adults and teenagers should find the books readable. Both are aimed at those interested in the American Civil War (military occupation for both books; combat for Fort Pillow) and African American history. Navigating Liberty would also benefit those interested in 19th Century reformers, especially female ones.
Could you please tell us something curious about you and/or your book?
How did I come to write these books? I grew up during the 1960s. Very impressed by both the Civil Rights Movement and the Civil War Centennial, all my historical work involves race relations during the war. During early research I came across some new sources on the Fort Pillow massacre that stimulated the book on the fort. After that I wanted to do something much broader and noticed the lack of a study of the refugeeing slaves’ relations with Northern aid workers.
Is this your first time participating in Kentucky Book Festival? If yes – what are you looking forward to the most? If you’ve participated before – what was your favorite experience at the Festival?
This is my second appearance at the Festival. The last time I especially enjoyed chatting with booklovers interested in history, both the patrons and the authors.
After earning three history degrees, John Cimprich taught primarily at Thomas More College (now University) and retired as professor emeritus. Navigating Liberty comprehensively examines the interaction between escaped slaves and antislavery Northerners in Federally occupied areas of the South during the Civil War.