Underground Airlines By Ben H. Winters-A Review

No, I was not reading this simultaneously with Atkins book. I read it last week. But it has been on my mind. It seemed particularly relevant and timely, given all the racial tension in the country. Two more shootings-one by police in Milwaukee, one of a police officer in Georgia. SMH. Anyway, the book is in the genre of alt or speculative fiction, set in a modern America very much like our own…except that the Civil War never happened. Slavery is still legal in four states, and the book tells story of a man who, though African American and one who escaped from slavery himself, is used by the U.S. Marshall Services to hunt down others who are aided and abetted in such escapes by an entity known as the Underground Airlines. The conflict suffered by Victor, who dons many names in the pursuit of his work and doesn’t even whisper his true name to himself, reflects but one of the layers of this ingenious multi-faceted book, where you learn that nothing is ever as it seems. Both a first class story and an indictment of the system that thrives off the efforts of Persons Bound To Labor while repudiating responsibility for their welfare, this is a definite must read! Stay tuned for a comparison with Colin Whitehead’s Underground Railroad!

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