Diary of a Contraband: The Civil War Passage of a Black Sailor (Paperback)
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The heart of this book is the remarkable Civil War diary of the author's great-grandfather, William Benjamin Gould, an escaped slave who served in the United States Navy from 1862 until the end of the war. Gould somehow came to possess impressive literary skills, and his diary vividly records not only his adventures in the Navy but also his reflections on race relations.
About the Author
William B. Gould IV is the Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law at Stanford University. He served as Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board during the Clinton administration, and has written extensively in labor law.
"[Diary of a Contraband provides] modern readers with vivid insight into the life and thought of a man who overcame the degradations of slavery, actively sought his own freedom and fought to make it permanent, and in the end forged a new life as a full citizen . . . .An unusual work, [it is] one of only three wartime diaries kept by black sailors."—Library Journal
"Diary of a Contraband offers a fascinating picture of everyday life for sailors and cilivians in the 1860s. It also provides tantalizing details of antebellum Willington that have seldom made their way into written history."—Willmington Star-News
"In all, the book is a valuable addition to the continuously growing literature on both the Civil War at sea and the history of race in America."—International Journal of Maritime History
"We can thank both Goulds for Diary of a Contraband. It is a significant contribution to both Civil War and African American literature."—Sea History