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The Fires of Jubilee; Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion is Stephen B. Oates’ account of the slave rebellion in Virginia’s Southampton County in 1831. Oates’ book is a historical narrative of the exploits of Nat Turner, a gifted black slave who marshaled servants into a bloody revolt against their masters. Oates vividly analyzes the events that led to the revolt in the eyes of Nat Turner. He records the life and struggles of Nat Turner, other slaves, and their inherent desire to be free. As Glen Ely says, “it is not just a recounting of the revolt” but “an analysis of the far-reaching impact on the North and the South” (Ely 2011). His book attempts to show how the serfs’ rebellion in Virginia increased tensions among natives and slaves contributing to the civil war three decades later. Oates’ book is an attempt to justify the actions of Turner and his followers that led to what was presumably the bloodiest slave revolt in American History (Oates p. ix). According to Oates, Turner’s rebellion was the beginning of the emancipation of the United States. The book highlights the oppression serfs went through and their struggle for freedom. Oates’ book captures in a justifiable manner of the aspirations of the title he chose. The book describes events occurring about fifty years prior to the civil war. He states that the revolt is among the factors that fuel animosity between races leading to the war (Oates p. ix). Throughout Nat’s life, preconditions for the civil war and the emancipation of the blacks had been building up (Lacey paragraph 14). A fifty-year ‘fire’ had been slowly igniting in the minds of the slaves and their masters. Nathanial Turner’s ideas and motivations formed the axis of the journey to emancipation. The ferocity of the manner in which he executed his ambitious plan was definitely a prelude to the civil war thirty years later. The fierce slaughter that ensued and the

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