Captain Blackman, John Williams
John Williams

Captain Blackman

369 printed pages
A black soldier gravely wounded in Vietnam finds himself transported to the battlefields of every war in America’s history in this unique and mesmerizing novel

From a jungle floor in Southeast Asia, Capt. Abraham Blackman travels back in time.

In 1775, he is a freed slave taking up arms at Bunker Hill at the dawn of the Revolutionary War. He fights under Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 and witnesses Nathan Bedford Forrest’s notorious massacre of three hundred black Union Army troops at the Battle of Fort Pillow during the Civil War. As a buffalo soldier, Captain Blackman journeys west to fight with the US Army against hostile Indian tribes. And overseas, he joins segregated troops on the front lines in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.
 
No matter the conflict, Blackman fights for a racist military establishment that expects black soldiers to die for the cause of “freedom”—even when they are denied it at home. Ultimately, Blackman’s greatest challenge will take place in his own present day, in Vietnam, where he must battle not only to survive but for that most elusive of victories: justice.
 
A stunning and thought-provoking historical novel that the New York Times Book Review called “among the most important works of fiction of the [1970s]” Captain Blackman brilliantly explores the complicated legacy of the African American soldier throughout US history. 
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