Harriet Tubman: A Life in American History


Harriet Tubman: A Life in American History

Document Type




Harriet Tubman: A Life in American History is an indispensable resource for high school and college students about the life and times of anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman, who exemplifies how slaves took the initiative to free themselves and others.

Harriet Tubman served a pivotal role in leading slaves to freedom in the decade before the Civil War. This biography offers a demythologized chronicle of her life and work with information about her life as a slave, role as conductor on the Underground Railroad, work as a military scout during the Civil War, and postwar activism for blacks and women.

The book provides valuable context that situates Harriet Tubman against the backdrop of the slavery debate in antebellum America, and the hardships endured by ex-slaves in postbellum America. As such, the timeframe covers nearly a full century, from the first quarter of the 19th to the first quarter of the 20th. In addition to ten biographical chapters and a short timeline, Harriet Tubman includes an interpretive essay reflecting on her importance in American history. The volume also includes an appendix of primary documents about Tubman's life and work, a bibliography, and a number of sidebars and short commentaries embedded in the text, inviting readers to explore connections between Tubman's life and political, intellectual, and social culture.


  • Provides readers with a comprehensive but readable account of Tubman's life
  • Provides readers with an overview of American abolitionism and the Underground Railroad
  • Explores the pivotal role of religious faith in Tubman's activism
  • Suggests several comparisons between Tubman's activism and current struggles for social justice



Publication Date





Santa Barbara, CA

Department 1


Department 2

Peace and Justice Studies

Harriet Tubman: A Life in American History