The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Summer Book Club 2019 - Book 1)

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Show Notes:

President Scott L Wyatt and Steve Meredith are joined by Dr. Kyle Bishop to discuss the first book in the Summer Book Club: The Underground Railroad. The trio discuss the metaphor of the railroad, break down the motives of the main characters, and identify the learning outcomes from the book.

The Underground Railroad, published in 2016, is the sixth novel by American author Colson Whitehead. The alternate history novel tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves in the southeastern United States during the 19th century, who make a bid for freedom from their Georgia plantations by following the Underground Railroad, which the novel depicts as primarily a rail transport system in addition to a series of safe houses and secret routes. The Underground Railroad was a critical and commercial success, hitting the best seller lists and winning several notable prizes.

Featured Quote:

"Her fate is tremendously ambiguous. And that's one thing that frustrates a lot of people with more modernist or post-modernist writing is it’s the ambiguity. Author’s love the ambiguity because we don't really know when this story takes place. We don't really know if this is an alternative history where there was no Civil War or if this is pre-Civil War because it’s…my students noticed that it reads like a dystopia. It reads like a post-apocalyptic narrative in a lot of ways."
Kyle Bishop, Professor of English, Southern Utah University

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