The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Jan 24, 2023

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead, is a creative imagining of the Civil
War. Whitehead takes the concept of the Underground Railroad, which is ironically visualized as
a real railroad that runs under America. The novel follows a young slave, Cora, after her
mother’s escape from their plantation. After years of torment and abuse, Cora and a new slave,
Caesar, escape the plantation and make their way North by underground trains. Throughout her
journey, Cora meets friends and foes who both help and hinder her trek. Cora travels through
multiple states and safehouses, confronting the idea of what it means to be free, all the while
being chased by slave catchers.

The Underground Railroad is a severely impactful book. Despite being categorized as
fiction, the truth behind Whitehead’s words is both horrifying and devastating. While reading,
Whitehead’s audience is fully immersed in his world. Readers are confronted with Cora’s harsh
reality. Personally, this book helped me learn a lot more about the civil war era and fully
understand the atrocities that slaves were forced to go through. The story made me cry,
especially the relationship between Cora and her mother. Before reading, I would definitely
recommend preparing yourself for very heavy subject matters. The Underground Railroad is a
powerful book that anyone should read if they want to learn more about history while
simultaneously becoming connected with a compelling character whose story can resonate with
the reader. On a scale of 1 to 5, this book is very clearly a 5.


Written by
Leilani G.

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