For Adam's Sake:
A Family Saga in Colonial New England

by Allegra di Bonaventura

Book Reviews

For Adam's Sake book cover

“A fascinating view into the little-known world of slavery in the North, For Adam’s Sake is a well-researched and cogently written.  Allegra di Bonaventura’s rich account complicates the traditional narrative of slavery and race in early America, showing the ways in which the peculiar institution was woven into the fabric of life in parts of New England.” (Annette Gordon-Reed, author of The Hemingses of Monticello)

“This is an extraordinary story about ordinary people in a pre-revolutionary New England family. Among the people are a master and his slave, the only account of such psychological depth I have seen in all the family histories of New England. Impeccably researched, elegantly written, For Adams' Sake is a model of its kind.” (Joseph Ellis, author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation )

“A work of astonishing ingenuity, intellectual and emotional depth, and (most of all) brilliant writing.” (John Demos, author of The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America )

“ The murders, attacks against churches, suicides, and illicit sex in For Adam’s Sake kept me turning pages, but Allegra di Bonaventura’s best stories are of black New Englander John Jackson … and his son Adam, who for half a century knew slavery at its most intimate.  Your book club will love For Adam’s Sake.”  (Woody Holton, author of Abigail Adams)

“Allegra di Bonaventura has painted a rich canvas of the eighteenth-century town of New London, Connecticut … the book is a great story; great history.” (William S. McFeely, author of Sapelo’s People: A Long Walk into Freedom)

For Adam's Sake achieves an amazing, seemingly impossible conjunction—the best book ever on New England family life and the best book ever on the family context of American slavery, neither pretty—a riveting story and great history based on astounding research.” (Jon Butler, author of Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776 )

“Allegra di Bonaventura’s dazzling debut illuminates the social landscape of colonial New England in all its fascinating complexity … With deep research and scrupulous fidelity to her sources, di Bonaventura enables us to hear the voices of her subjects and glimpse the rhythms and ruptures that defined a world we thought we had lost.”  (Peter Onuf, Senior Research Fellow, Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies)

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