Books: A Weakness for Utopias

THE LIBERATOR (502 pp.)—John L. Thomas—Little, Brown ($8.50).

William Lloyd Garrison has been cast by historians as the great Abolitionist, a role he warmly welcomed. In point of fact, Garrison was only the best publicized of the abolitionists, as this biography—the most objective yet written—makes clear. John L. Thomas, assistant history professor at Harvard, shows that the vituperative Garrison was less a leader of the abolitionists than an eccentric outcast who gave the whole movement a taint of fanaticism it did not deserve. Despite his dedication, in the end Garrison was more hindrance than help in ultimately freeing the Negro slaves.

Garrison emerges...

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