The Marrow of Tradition

  • Title: The Marrow of Tradition
  • Author: Charles W. Chesnutt
  • ISBN: 9780486431635
  • Page: 192
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Marrow of Tradition A landmark in the history of African American fiction this gripping novel was among the first literary challenges to racial stereotypes Its tragic history of two families unfolds against the bac
    A landmark in the history of African American fiction, this gripping 1901 novel was among the first literary challenges to racial stereotypes Its tragic history of two families unfolds against the backdrop of the post Reconstruction South and climaxes with a race riot based on an actual 1898 incident The author relied upon eyewitness accounts of the riot to create an autA landmark in the history of African American fiction, this gripping 1901 novel was among the first literary challenges to racial stereotypes Its tragic history of two families unfolds against the backdrop of the post Reconstruction South and climaxes with a race riot based on an actual 1898 incident The author relied upon eyewitness accounts of the riot to create an authentic setting and mood, and his sensitive artistry transcends a simple re telling of the facts with a dramatic rendering of the conflict between racism and social justice Unabridged republication of the classic 1901 edition.

    • The Marrow of Tradition ¦ Charles W. Chesnutt
      192 Charles W. Chesnutt
    • thumbnail Title: The Marrow of Tradition ¦ Charles W. Chesnutt
      Posted by:Charles W. Chesnutt
      Published :2019-04-22T05:17:04+00:00

    About Charles W. Chesnutt


    1. Charles Waddell Chesnutt was an author, essayist and political activist, best known for his novels and short stories exploring complex issues of racial and social identity.


    305 Comments


    1. Things they didn't teach you in American HistoryI consider myself fortunate to have gone to segregated schools in the Jim Crow South of the 1950's,thanks to teachers who taught us many of the things that were missing from the approved text books. The text books in the Virginia schools would have us believe that "slaves were happy and they sang a lot." And for 200 years of American History, we were missing.When my late husband and I returned to the South in 1975 and settled in Raleigh, NC, many c [...]

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    2. 4.5 starsA heartrending book about the race riots that took place in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1898. Charles Chesnutt tackles the issue of white supremacy by focusing on two families - one white and one black - and how their lives intersect. Upon The Marrow of Tradition's initial publication, Chesnutt intended for it to clarify the misconceptions of those in the North, though the book addresses several themes still pertinent to race relations today.Chesnutt excels at examining how tradition [...]

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    3. Many critics consider Charles Chesnut to be the most influential African American fiction writer during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His realist fiction work The Marrow of Tradition based on a historical account of race riots that took place in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1898 has been on my kindle for a while. I had been hesitant to take it on, because I thought such a subject matter would be depressing, but the classics challenge gave me the proper motivation to stop pr [...]

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    4. The Marrow of Tradition, originally published in 1901, is a historical novel by African-American author Charles Chesnutt portraying a fictional account of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Before reading this I wouldn't have thought there would be so much hate by the time this "race riot" took place, but I was wrong. It was years since slavery had ended - so why is there still so much hate? I don't know, people don't seem to be able to get along now, why would I [...]

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    5. The Marrow of Tradition is, as William Dean Howells famously declared, a bitter, bitter novel. But like any black moral American alive at the time when white supremacy (which we could euphemistically refer to as "Jim Crow") withheld from former slaves and their descendants the liberties supposedly assured them in Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Charles W. Chesnutt had good reason to voice bitterness. Sure, at times the novel is a bit heavy-handed in its depiction of cross-racial relations i [...]

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    6. “We are all puppets in the hands of Fate, and seldom see the strings that move us."The Marrow of Tradition is incredible. I loved it so much that I stayed home from school for the first half of the day just to finish it. I think I enjoyed this book so much because it reminded me of A Tale of Two Cities in the way the plot unfolded. It involved a complicated web of characters and subplots, but as the story evolved, all the characters intertwined and came together. Any author who writes a story [...]

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    7. 23 JAN 2015 -- Many Thanks to Laura. She provided the link to this book at Project Gutenberg. Find it here gutenberg/ebooks/11228

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    8. Chesnutt was America's first successful black novelist. This book was written in 1901, and is based on an actual race riot that broke out in North Carolina a few years earlier. It's not nonfiction; it's a dramatization based on events leading up to and during the riot.Really good book. Chesnutt's style is perfect for his theme—it reminds me a lot of Baldwin, in that sense. Stark, straightforward realism is a sharp tool for opening up and exposing racism in society. What Chesnutt does here, pri [...]

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    9. Amazing. Such a crucial work of art during that time period and it really opened the eyes of many. I was amazed by the complexities of his characters and his plotline, showing the different levels of racism and the different generations of black people that continued butting heads throughout the story. There were so many mixtures of opinions, moral conflict, and problems that also arose with the difference in class. What really struck me the most was the ending of the novel.(Spoilers ahead!)The [...]

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    10. This is one of the most profound books that I have ever read! I obtained this book for a dollar at the 2009 Harlem Book Fair, due to it being a classic within African American literature. A young man was selling used books, and I discovered this treasured classic at the bottom of a box of books. I decided to finally read it, and have no regrets upon doing so. This classic novel teaches one about the evils and negative affects of pure hatred through racism. It also emphasizes the notion of 'You r [...]

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    11. Yes, it is at times overwrought, but I was nonetheless astounded by this book, so I almost gave it five stars anyway. Chesnutt is incredibly astute, and many of his observations are, sadly, still rather applicable today, well over 100 years later, for example:"The nation was rushing forward with giant strides toward colossal wealth and world-dominion, before the exigencies of which mere abstract ethical theories must not be permitted to stand. . . . An obscure jealousy of the negro's progress, a [...]

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    12. When considering novels of the early 20th century, The Marrow of Tradition is often overlooked, while in fact it is one of the best novels of that time period that I've ever read. The books contemplate the social standing of whites as blacks begin to progress - find jobs, take positions in office, and make a name for themselves. The end of the book results in a climaxing riot and a moment of desperation as Olivia Carteret, a white woman with pride, begs at the feet of the only doctor left in tow [...]

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    13. This books starts out as a fairly common Southern story set post Civil War/Reconstruction. Many wealthy families have lost everything at the close of slavery and the patriarchs of those families go through any means possible to return their families to the previous glory. There ia also a love triangle between a rich young woman, the man who wants her money, and the noble man who loves her. This was Chesnutt's appeal to white audiences so he could tell the story he wanted to tell.By the end, this [...]

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    14. I took on “The Marrow of Tradition” knowing only that is was one of the novels in the Library of America series and was written by a black man in the beginning of the last century. I hadn’t heard of the events this story is based on, or of this book’s own place in history. I read it for the story. I was pleasantly surprised in that the style of the writing didn’t seem as archaic as some books of the period. The writing was not as flowery, but still had some of the excessive elements th [...]

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    15. I really enjoyed reading this novel! The plot is riveting, and even though some of the dialect is hard to get through, it is still readable. Because this novel is set during the time when the Jim Crow South existed, many parts of the story are painful to read, including the notions of racial superiority, hate crimes, and prejudice. However, this novel does a great job of really exposing what it was like to be African-American during this time period. In fact, it presents this so well, that I wou [...]

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    16. An interesting book set in the time of American history about a generation after the Emancipation. This book brings out a lot of racial issues dealing with the time period (and perhaps, to some extent, still existing today). Where I think it falls short of a higher review for me is that the book seems to be a series of small plots with an overarching idea (racism) rather than a singular plot with some side steps here and there. My largest dissatisfaction is the fact that most of these small plot [...]

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    17. I'll admit, I wasn't looking forward to this novel when it was assigned in my English class. I thought it would just be another novel about racism and slavery, with nothing new. But I was absolutely wrong!The novel starts out a little slow, but then the characters and the plot get incredibly interesting and engaging. I also became infuriated at parts, which is always a good sign from a novel.Chesnutt did a great job making the novel realistic with a good analysis of the consequences of racism on [...]

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    18. there's time enough but none to spare!This book was written at the beginning of the 20th century and ends with the hope that "there's time enough but none to spare" in our struggle with racism. This impressive book will give you perspective and pause in thinking about race relations in the United States. The story builds to a well-written crescendo that seemed to ask for forgiveness for the unforgivable. Can we overcome atrocities and hatred to come together?

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    19. Takes a while to get into, but it seems to me one of the most realistic portrayals of the post-reconstruction south and the race riots. Chestnutt explores every angle of the buildup to the riot, and analyzes it thoroughly through amazingly crafted characters.

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    20. Everyone should read this book to understand the origins and abuses of racism in U.S. history.

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    21. Chesnutt lays down some truth bombs about race relations at the turn of the twentieth century more poignantly than some of his contemporaries.

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    22. Will be incredibly useful to my dissertation project

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    23. Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

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    24. A scathing indictment of Reconstruction racism and lynching in the South, and a particularly harrowing reimagining of the horrific white uprising/riots/lynchings in Wilmington. Reading in the context of flag protests, Black Lives Matter, and police brutality/extra-judicial killings, this is work remains necessary in its depiction of whites utilizing what Giorgio Agamben developed as the "state of exception," where in the law, in the name of itself, suspends itself to work beyond legal models. He [...]

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    25. An interesting, rather fast-paced plot about horrific racial injustice and strife in a North Carolina town. Some well-drawn characters mix with some overly stereotypical ones, solid writing mixes with heavy authorial intrusion, and the ending is a bit abrupt and not entirely satisfying. Still, an important book that deserves a read.

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    26. This backbone of the African-American literary canon should simply be considered a 20th century American classic, for we cannot ever understand who we are as Americans without this tale.The Marrow of Tradition Chesnutt's thinly fictionalized account of the 1898 Wilmington (NC) Race Riot tells an under-recounted tale about how southern (and western) whites amassed rural wealth in the Gilded Age through lynching blacks and seizing or destroying their property, communities, wealth and institutions. [...]

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    27. The book is set in the time after the Civil War when some Southern whites fight back against the freedoms given to blacks. A trio of influential white men influence public opinion in their town and elsewhere, attempting to create a movement that will put blacks "in their place" and teach them how to behave. There is one elderly white aristocrat in the town who does not share their views. Published in 1901 and written by a black author, my main criticism is the extreme dialect used for most of th [...]

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    28. Charles W. Chesnutt’s Marrow of Tradition reimagines a fictional account based on the Wilmington Race Riots of 1898. Here, the town is Wellington, and its characters bring a dynamic and personal glimpse into this moment in history. The white Carteret family and the mixed-race Miller family are inexorably linked by a hidden marriage and unacknowledged half-sisterhood. Major Carteret runs the Morning Chronicle newspaper, and he and his right-hand men are set in supremacist mindsets and schemes t [...]

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    29. ""Gentlemen", said Carteret, entering with Mr. Delamere the room where the men were gathered, and raising his hand for silence, "the people of Wellington were on the point of wreaking vengeance upon a negro who was supposed to have been guilty of a terrible crime. The white men of this city, impelled by the highest and holiest sentiments, were about to take steps to defend their hearthstones and maintain the purity and ascendency of their race. Your purpose sprung from hearts wounded in their te [...]

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    30. Chesnutt does a very good job of creating the anti-Gone with the Wind. In this book, he shows a Carolina town as dirty and mean as it really was. The book is based off the real life riot that was started by white men who wanted to get rid of elected officials solely because they were black. This is not a story about happy endings but Chesnutt leaves us with the hope that some of the men who caused this chaos have learned from their evil, but really we do not know. This is not a book that claims [...]

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