1789












Edited by Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti


Genre: Anthologies (YA/Teens)
Candlewick Press, 2020
ISBN: 9781536208733


Hardcover, 224 pages        A Junior Library Guild Selection        Starred review from Kirkus Reviews


The acclaimed team that brought us 1968 turns to another year that shook the world with a collection of nonfiction writings by renowned young-adult authors. Contributors inlcude: Amy Alznauer • Marc Aronson • Susan Campbell Bartoletti • Summer Edward • Karen Engelmann • Joyce Hansen • Cynthia and Sanford Levinson • Steve Sheinkin • Tanya Lee Stone • Christopher Turner • and Sally M. Walker.

“The Rights of Man.” What does that mean? In 1789 that question rippled all around the world. Do all men have rights—not just nobles and kings? What then of enslaved people, women, the original inhabitants of the Americas? In the new United States a bill of rights was passed, while in France the nation tumbled toward revolution. In the Caribbean preachers brought word of equality, while in the South Pacific sailors mutinied. New knowledge was exploding, with mathematicians and scientists rewriting the history of the planet and the digits of pi. Lauded anthology editors Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti, along with ten award-winning nonfiction authors, explore a tumultuous year when rights and freedoms collided with enslavement and domination, and the future of humanity seemed to be at stake.

Some events and actors are familiar: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Marie Antoinette and the Marquis de Lafayette. Others may be less so: the eloquent former slave Olaudah Equiano, the Seneca memoirist Mary Jemison, the fishwives of Paris, the mathematician Jurij Vega, and the painter Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. But every chapter brings fresh perspectives on the debates of the time, inviting readers to experience the passions of the past and ask new questions of today.

*Author's Note: I contributed a chapter about the arrival and work of Wesleyan missionaries in the Caribbean to this illuminating historical nonfiction anthology for teen readers.






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