Because I’ve already summarized Harriet Tubman’s life in my review of Harriet Tubman by Laurie Calkhoven, I will not do so again here. Instead, I’ll comment on the differences between the two books.
Calkhoven’s Harriet told the story of Harriet’s life in a broader, more abstract, impersonal, here’s-the-big-picture style. Pictures are included of the various people mentioned in the book as well as photographs of different locations as they are today, so the distance between our century and hers is firmly emphasized. Calkhoven’s Harriet attempts to immerse us in the broader scope of Harriet’s culture.
Grant’s Harriet, on the other hand, concentrates on specific incidents and paints a flesh-and-blood portrait of the woman, Harriet Tubman. Her story is lived out instead of told. The issues of slavery and the war are, of course, covered, to the degree that they were a part of her life.
While Calkhoven’s Harriet spends a large portion of the book describing Harriet’s post-war involvement in the equal rights movement, Grant’s Harriet skips right from her war efforts to her death.
Grant’s Harriet is very frank concerning Harriet’s religious beliefs – she believed that God spoke to her, guiding her while she freed slaves – and includes several scenes of people praying.
Harriet’s marriage to John Tubman and his subsequent infidelity toward her is mentioned as part of Harriet’s story.
Conclusion. A great resource.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret