The book starts by reviewing the changes--psychological, educational, political, social, and geographic --which American Negroes experienced between 1830 and 1910 in the context of similar (if less dramatic) changes affecting American whites.
The record presented here shows that cooperation between the NUL and the NAACP has been the norm, despite occasional differences, and that the two organizations remain vibrant forces in the search for equality.
It was then revised by More, and printed by Frobenius at Basle in November, 1518. It was reprinted at Paris and Vienna, but was not printed in England during More’s lifetime. Its first publication in this country was in the English translation, made in Edward’s VI.’s reign (1551) by Ralph Robinson. It was translated with more literary skill by Gilbert Burnet, in 1684, soon after he had conducted the defence of his friend Lord William Russell, attended his execution, vindicated his memory, and been spitefully deprived by James II. of his lectureship at St. Clement’s. Burnet was drawn to the translation of “Utopia” by the same sense of unreason in high places that caused More to write the book. Burnet’s is the translation given in this volume.
The name of the book has given an adjective to our language—we call an impracticable scheme Utopian. Yet, under the veil of a playful fiction, the talk is intensely earnest, and abounds in practical suggestion. It is the work of a scholarly and witty Englishman, who attacks in his own way the chief political and social evils of his time. Beginning with fact, More tells how he was sent into Flanders with Cuthbert Tunstal, “whom the king’s majesty of late, to the great rejoicing of all men, did prefer to the office of Master of the Rolls;” how the commissioners of Charles met them at Bruges, and presently returned to Brussels for instructions; and how More then went to Antwerp, where he found a pleasure in the society of Peter Giles which soothed his desire to see again his wife and children, from whom he had been four months away. Then fact slides into fiction with the finding of Raphael Hythloday (whose name, made of two Greek words [Greek text] and [Greek text], means “knowing in trifles”), a man who had been with Amerigo Vespucci in the three last of the voyages to the new world lately discovered, of which the account had been first printed in 1507, only nine years before Utopia was written.
Designedly fantastic in suggestion of details, “Utopia” is the work of a scholar who had read Plato’s “Republic,” and had his fancy quickened after reading Plutarch’s account of Spartan life under Lycurgus. Beneath the veil of an ideal communism, into which there has been worked some witty extravagance, there lies a noble English argument. Sometimes More puts the case as of France when he means England. Sometimes there is ironical praise of the good faith of Christian kings, saving the book from censure as a political attack on the policy of Henry VIII. Erasmus wrote to a friend in 1517 that he should send for More’s “Utopia,” if he had not read it, and “wished to see the true source of all political evils.” And to More Erasmus wrote of his book, “A burgomaster of Antwerp is so pleased with it that he knows it all by heart.”
Sir Thomas More, son of Sir John More, a justice of the King’s Bench, was born in 1478, in Milk Street, in the city of London. After his earlier education at St. Anthony’s School, in Threadneedle Street, he was placed, as a boy, in the household of Cardinal John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor. It was not unusual for persons of wealth or influence and sons of good families to be so established together in a relation of patron and client. The youth wore his patron’s livery, and added to his state. The patron used, afterwards, his wealth or influence in helping his young client forward in the world.
No Villains, No Heroes dramatizes a shocking episode in Virginia history. In March 1912 Floyd Allen was convicted of assault in Carroll County, in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. When he announced, “Gentlemen, I ain’t a-goin,” a gun battle erupted in the crowded courtroom between law officers and the Allen clan. Five people were killed; seven wounded. Floyd and his young son Claude were executed a year later. Other Allens served long prison sentences. But who were the villains? Who were the heroes? In this moving historical novel, the narrator, a detective called in to hunt down the fugitives, grapples with these perplexing questions and the true meaning of law and justice.
“This exciting novel tells the story of a once-famous but now largely forgotten episode in Virginia history, the ‘Hillsville Massacre’ of March 1912, recalled in vivid detail by Carter Hayne, a private lawman on the scene. His experience is so transforming that it turns him into a crusading lawyer who dedicates his life to advancing criminal justice. It effortlessly recreates an age and place, pre-modern America 100 years ago in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the setting for an event so complex and weighty, even primal, that it is, as Hayne says, “just like a Greek tragedy.”
Kirkpatrick Sale, author of 12 books, including The Fire of His Genius: Robert Fulton and the American Dream.