Really, I knew next to nothing about John Brown before I read this book. I decided to read it because I recently finished [b:Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War|38855|Confederates in the Attic Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War|Tony Horwitz|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328642162s/38855.jpg|3963325] by [a:Tony Horwitz|16541|Tony Horwitz|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1247137485p2/16541.jpg], and that book sent me on a quest to learn about and understand the Civil War. I trusted Horwitz to educate me about John Brown--I knew this work would deliver, and it did. I now understand who John Brown was, why he was significant, and what made him tick. Horwitz made me think
about this man. He took John Brown out of a history book, sat him down in front of me, and made him flesh and blood. Horwitz showed me John Brown's humanity, with all of the good and bad that comes with being human. He showed me how Brown could be considered a terrorist, and how he could be considered a hero. Looking at John Brown made me look at larger questions about right and wrong, about responsibility and ethics, about fighting vs. talking.
Midnight Rising was a good book that ended up being so much more than a simple biography. This is a complex book about a complex man and complex issues. I do hope that Horwitz doesn't stop writing about the Civil War, because I need him to keep teaching me about it, and to keep making me think while I'm learning.