College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Lecture 3 - Freedom Fighter or Terrorist? John Brown and the American Civil War

The third lecture in Professor Susan Neiman's Gifford Lectures

Event details

Date: Thursday 5 May 2022, 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Venue:  Lecture Theatre A, 40 George Square

Lecture abstract

John Brown is often considered the man who started the American civil war.  A white farmer and fierce Calvinist, he fought for the abolition of slavery and was eventually hanged for it in 1859.   Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were among his strongest supporters.  Examining their defence of him provides a model for how to determine heroism.

Lecture video