• Sweet Taste of Liberty

  • A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America
  • By: W. Caleb McDaniel
  • Narrated by: Paul Heitsch
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (86 ratings)

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Sweet Taste of Liberty  By  cover art

Sweet Taste of Liberty

By: W. Caleb McDaniel
Narrated by: Paul Heitsch
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Publisher's Summary

The unforgettable saga of one enslaved woman's fight for justice - and reparations

Born into slavery, Henrietta Wood was taken to Cincinnati and legally freed in 1848. In 1853, a Kentucky deputy sheriff named Zebulon Ward colluded with Wood's employer, abducted her, and sold her back into bondage. She remained enslaved throughout the Civil War, giving birth to a son in Mississippi and never forgetting who had put her in this position.

By 1869, Wood had obtained her freedom for a second time and returned to Cincinnati, where she sued Ward for damages in 1870. Astonishingly, after eight years of litigation, Wood won her case: In 1878, a Federal jury awarded her $2,500. More important than the amount, though the largest ever awarded by an American court in restitution for slavery, was the fact that any money was awarded at all.

McDaniel's audiobook is an epic tale of a Black woman who survived slavery twice and who achieved more than merely a moral victory over one of her oppressors. Above all, Sweet Taste of Liberty is a portrait of an extraordinary individual as well as a searing reminder of the lessons of her story, which establish beyond question the connections between slavery and the prison system that rose in its place.

©2019 W. Caleb McDaniel (P)2020 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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What listeners say about Sweet Taste of Liberty

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  • Overall
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insightful and educational

as a white male I am appalled by the man's inhumanity to man. I can't fathom what goes through a man's head as he is whipping the shit out of another human being. I'm sorry.

7 people found this helpful

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Great history lesson

This book is a must read. I’m not much of a reader but I love a good informative audiobook with a lot of story & history. Please check out this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Incredible

Amazing archival research which was necessary in writing such a magnificent story. I would recommend this book to anyone.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book, not the narrator for me

This is an incredibly interesting book. But, I almost stopped listening. The cadence of the narrator's voice was really difficult for me. It sounds very robotic. I found it distracting. The writing is great and I was glad that I stuck with it.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant -

The true story of a slave woman who was freed and then snatched and enslaved again only to be released with the eventual ending of the Civil War is a good one in itself, but McDaniel, the author, adds so much US history that it's a marvel. It won the Pulitzer in history for a reason.

1 person found this helpful

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Exceptionally well researched and important

Exceptionally well researched and important chronicle of U.S. History. A human, compelling an honest attempt to do justice by recovering and where that is impossible imagining an exceptional life that there is little record of by design.

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American Heroes Brought to Life

The story is unimaginable, and I can't help but think how so many of us would have failed in similar, or even more favorable, circumstances. The tale is full of heroes, from legal professionals to the legal system itself, but no looms larger than Ms. Wood. An inspiring book, written in easy-flowing prose, and read in a lively manner.

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fascinating! wonderfully told journey of her life

Henriettas story is fascinating and the book was incredibly thorough, painting a deep and clear image of her journey. I'm sure it was not easy finding all the information and surely there is so much we do not know of her life, but the book was incredible.