Genre Historical FictionPublisher Skyhorse PublishingPub Date May 21, 2019Mini ReviewThe author of The Hamilton Affair has written another interesting historical novel, The Tubman Command In this flawlessly researched novel, one learns of the lesser known heroic deeds of the black icon Harriet Tubman AKA Moses Most people have heard of Tubman for engineering the Underground Railroad and smuggling fugitive slaves from the South to the North This novel veers away from that part of her life and instead concentrates on her lesser known missions as a spy for the Union army Her efforts helped turn the tide during the Civil War, which, as of May 1863, the North was losing Cobbs keeps the writing authentic in many ways, such as using the long forgotten dialect of the Africans living in Hilton Head Island located in South Carolina This is where Tubman and her scouts locate Rebel underwater mines Adding to the appreciated realism, each chapter begins with an actual and often moving quote from a general, colonel, scout or slave regarding Moses extraordinary talents The author shines brightest when she brings focus to the human side of the famous woman The story fluctuates between Harriet s determined dedication to freeing people from slavery and her sense of burden and loss in her personal life She left her first husband to pursue her own freedom and outlived her second husband The author allows her heroine a love affair, which she admits in the endnotes to be pure fiction This sexual relationship may not have been needed other than as a means to reach an audience who simply want romance in their stories Still, Cobbs emphasizes that, although her real life protagonist was a lonely woman, she knew she was equal, or probably, superior to any man, black or white Tubman is one of America s first extraordinary female leaders I received this Advance Review Copy ARC novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.Find all my book reviews at During all of my years at a public school in rural southwestern Ohio in the 1950s, it was a man s world I don t recall learning a thing about any women who made history other than Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton well okay, maybe Betsy Ross, who earned 13 stars for her work Once I got out and about, graduated from college and joined the ranks of the feminist movement, though, that changed The area to which I moved and have spent the rest of my life so far boasts stops on the Underground Railroad, and I soon became familiar with other suffragette names like Harriet Taylor Upton and Harriet Tubman notably, the Upton House, her home from 1887 to 1931 and now a museum, is in Warren, Ohio just a few miles from my home.Given that proximity and my longstanding commitment to women s rights, then, I was delighted to have an opportunity to read an advance copy of this book I knew a bit about Tubman s work with the Underground Railroad but until now, I had no clue as to her very important work as a spy for the Union Army In fact, as detailed in this book, Gen David Hunter put her in charge of directing and leading the largest plantation raid of the entire Civil War Reluctantly, she had left her husband and child to carry on her mission, even while knowing that what the future held was nothing short of daunting Known far and wide as Moses, she already was a wanted woman who no doubt would be put to death if captured nonetheless, she was determined to get behind enemy lines to set bondsmen free and recruit them to fight for the Union cause The research it must have taken to even begin pulling together a book like this is amazing to me and as a journalist, I ve got than a passing acquaintance with the process Turning that mountain of information into an educational yet highly readable format makes it all the special Although it is based on facts, it is a novel the author does an outstanding job of adding details and emotion filled dialogue that bring the story to life and make it far interesting than a dry rendition in a history textbook.In short, well done and highly recommended. NOT BAD, JUST DIDN T GRAB MY ATTENTIONDNF at 55%Since I have now been working on this book for 4 days that s 3 longer than it should have taken me I have decided to call time of death on this one It s not that this was a bad book or anything, there was just something about it that didn t capture me I kept procrastinating and I even stopped reading mid chapter numerous times, something that I NEVER do.I picked out this book because of the interesting subject, I was familiar with Harriet Tubman s story but had never read anything about it, so I thought this would be a good time to do it Sadly, I felt like this was a sort of wasted opportunity It felt very aimed at an American audience It lacked context, which I am sure Americans would have, but because I am not American and have not learnt about the American Civil War in school, I should couldn t connect with the story.I am sad to have to DNF this, but I just don t want to spent any time with a book that doesn t do it for me Again, it s not a bad book, it just didn t grab me ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review FOLLOW MY BLOG FOR MORE BOOK GOODNESS I read Elizabeth Cobbs 2019 historical romance The Tubman Command in kindle ebook, which I received from Skyhorse Publishing through netgalley.com, in exchange for publishing an honest review The novel s publication date is expected to be 21 May 2019 I am primarily a reviewer of science and science fiction, and so you may question what I think I am doing reading a book like this The explanation is simple I live in Beaufort South Carolina, on Lady s Island to be precise In case you are unaware, the Sea Islands here were Union territory during most of the US Civil War, adjacent to the Confederate mainland The Raid on Combahee Ferry, that freed over 750 enslaved people, is a well known part of the local lore I kayak in the saltwater Beaufort and Coosaw Rivers along the route taken Every time I drive to Charleston, I pass over the Hwy 17 Harriet Tubman Bridge, over the Combahee River, and look at the site of the raid just to the side of the road There is a campaign by local Tabernacle Baptist Church to erect a monument to Harriet Tubman in Beaufort to commemorate her role See I often wonder what it was like back then.I am no historian, but one of the challenges must be that the historical records of Tubman s role are scant, because of her status as an escaped slave, and because of her sex, not to mention that her operations were of course conducted in secrecy But there is little doubt that she played an active role, conducting surveillance missions and accompanying the troops on Colonel Montgomery s raid The reading I ve done only speculates on how pivotal her role was So I m under no illusion that a novel could have been written that only conforms to documented history But readers need to be aware that Cobb did not just write a fictionalized account of events she wrote a romance novel Whether the sexual liaison between Harriet Tubman and Samuel Heyward really took place there is zero evidence , or even if it was remotely possible there is also zero evidence against it , I feel it to be disrespectful of the actual historical figures.While on the subject of actual historical figures, there are also cameo appearances by Robert Smalls and Laura Towne Robert Smalls is another local figure, known for his commandeering of a Confederate military transport ship and the surrender of it to the Union Navy off Charleston Later, during Reconstruction, he served as representative of Beaufort in the US House of Representatives He doesn t actually have much to do with Harriet Tubman and the Raid on Combahee Ferry But it was nice to include it Laura Towne, however, is badly misportrayed It is ironic that the fictional Harriet Tubman s experience at a Shout in a St Helena Praise House, is actually an experience from Laura Towne s diary While the fictional Laura Towne is portrayed as a vocal and condemning missionary Towne s contributions in demonstrating the educational potential of the freed slaves of the Sea Islands, paved the way for national policy in Reconstruction which sadly was deconstructed within a few years The Unitarian Laura Towne and her partner, the Quaker Ellen Murray founded the Penn School as part of the Port Royal Experiment If you want to know the actual history, I recommend Penn Center A History Preserved, by Orville Vernon Burton and Wilbur Cross.So what to do about my rating It is an important and fascinating task that Elizabeth Cobbs has taken on in writing a fictionalized account of Harriet Tubman and the Raid on Combahee Ferry But I had to hold my nose to get through descriptions of her physical craving for the bulging muscles of Samuel, and the trashing of Laura Towne What a shame 2 stars, I guess. By The Bestselling Author Of The Hamilton Affair, The Tubman Command Is An Impeccably Researched Historical Novel That Brings To Light The Bravery And Brilliance Of American Icon Harriet Tubman It S May Outgeneraled And Outgunned, A Demoralized Union Army Has Pulled Back With Massive Losses At The Battle Of Chancellorsville Fort Sumter, Hated Symbol Of The Rebellion, Taunts The American Navy With Its Artillery And Underwater Mines In Beaufort, South Carolina, One Very Special Woman, Code Named Moses, Is Hatching A Spectacular Plan Hunted By Confederates, Revered By Slaves, Harriet Tubman Plots An Expedition Behind Enemy Lines To Liberate Hundreds Of Bondsmen And Recruit Them As Soldiers A Bounty On Her Head, She Has Given Up Husband And Home For The Noblest Cause A Nation Of, By, And For The People The Tubman Command Tells The Story Of Tubman At The Height Of Her Powers, When She Devises The Largest Plantation Raid Of The Civil War General David Hunter Places Her In Charge Of A Team Of Black Scouts Even Though Skeptical Of What One Woman Can Accomplish For Her Gamble To Succeed, Moses Must Outwit Alligators, Overseers, Slave Catchers, Sharpshooters, And Even Hostile Union Soldiers To Lead Gunships Up The Combahee River Men Stand In Her Way At Every Turn Though One Reminds Her That Love Shouldn T Have To Be The Price Of Freedom ARC received through NetGalley for an honest review Many thanks to the publisher, Arcade It s May 1863 Outgeneraled and outgunned, a demoralized Union Army has pulled back with massive losses at the Battle of Chancellorsville Fort Sumter, hated symbol of the Rebellion, taunts the American navy with its artillery and underwater mines In Beaufort, South Carolina, one very special woman, code named Moses, is hatching a spectacular plan Hunted by Confederates, revered by slaves, Harriet Tubman plots an expedition behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of bondsmen and recruit them as soldiers A bounty on her head, she has given up husband and home for the noblest cause a nation of, by, and for the people The Tubman Command tells the story of Tubman at the height of her powers, when she devises the largest plantation raid of the Civil War General David Hunter places her in charge of a team of black scouts even though skeptical of what one woman can accomplish For her gamble to succeed, Moses must outwit alligators, overseers, slave catchers, sharpshooters, and even hostile Union soldiers to lead gunships up the Combahee River Men stand in her way at every turn though one reminds her that love shouldn t have to be the price of freedom. Thanks to Bookish First and the publisher for kindly providing me with an ARC sorry it took me forever to get around to reviewing.So, I have to say, this book is a little out of my usual comfort zone when it comes to the kind of books that I normally read I m not usually very interested in historical fiction, like at all But I decided to give this one a chance after reading a sample chapter because the writing was so lyrical and just kept me entranced and interested.However, once I actually sat down with my copy and tried to dig in, life got in the way I found myself pushing it aside, time after time, until I could finally carve out a big enough chunk of time to give this book the time that it deserved It didn t disappoint I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.I never really gave much thought to Harriet Tubman as a person before Sure, I know how amazing she was and how important what she did was They taught us that in school, but this book goes about the subject in a whole new way It gave her so much character she became a real person The author truly has a magical way of making boring non fiction come to life I liked the way that the author took a normally dull textbook topic and really romanticized it for the modern reader. I need to start by saying Harriet was always a hero to me Growing up in auburn, I d heard about her from my grandmother, who remembered her riding around town on her bicycle and then later,learning about her in school She was always this sort of cardboard hero..as I never really imagined a living,breathing woman Now I can This was such wonderfully vivid book for me Now my memories mixed together with this story I can truly integrate the fact that she WAS a real life person Strange I never thought about her love life Granted fiction, but she was a woman with feelings and a HUGE COURAGEOUS HEART so the love story just helped me realize REAL PERSONnot cardboard hero I wasn t t sure the book would do her justice But as an Auburnian, it made me very proud And happy Because seriously No one ever honored her with her own novel So thank you author. I read a previous book by Elizabeth Cobbs The Hamilton Affair and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and learned quite a bit about both Alexander Hamilton and his amazing wife Elizabeth Schuyler enough that it has made me seek out nonfiction books on the man and his life , so when I saw that she had a new book out on Harriet Tubman whom I know little about , I was excited to read it I was not disappointed at all The research that must go into writing a book of historical fiction must be insane to both write a story that contains the truth AND to write a story of fiction surrounding that truth to tell a story that both teaches and entertains I feel that must be a tough road and Ms Cobbs handles it deftly and confidently The story that is told here of Harriet Tubman and her involvement of the freeing of over 700 slaves from plantations along the Combahee River is both thrilling and thought provoking It shows just how much grit that the soldiers had both colored and white and what they were willing to risk to save the lives of those enslaved and to put a dent into the lives of the rebellious South I am sure that this raid helped change the course of the war, though as far as I can tell, little has been written about this and it was for me, the first time I had ever heard of this daring escapade It is also a story of Harriet s every day life leading up to the raid as a baker, as a nurse and as a spy All things I didn t know about her before this book And the author s note at the end is filled with even content about Harriet Tubman that continued to fill me with wonder at the bravery and audacity of this small black woman SO many lives were saved by that very audacity and I believe that we need to have books written about her and the other women that risked their lives to help the cause against slavery and brought people to freedom This was an excellent read and one I am grateful to have had the chance to read I highly recommend it Thank you to NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing Arcade for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I won a copy of Ms Cobb s book through BookishFirst This is an excellent book about an aspect of Harriet Tubman s life I was not familiar with I was aware of Tubman s work with the Underground Railroad but not with her role as a spy for the Union troops The way Elizabeth Cobbs wrote about Harriet really made her come alive to me as not only a heroic lady but a very human one This is evidenced in her relationships to other characters in the book and her own words of frustrations and doubts at times I admire Harriet Tubman and the dedication and courage she displayed in helping others Elizabeth Cobbs presented her book in such a way that lends authenticity to what she is writing even though the reader knows parts of it are certainly fictionalized I like the way she started each chapter with an epigram that was drawn from original documents The book was intriguing, hard to put down , and filled with enough details to give the reader a clear picture of what was happening, but never sensationalized This is an excellent book
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