Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
The 272 by Rachel L. Swarns
Add The 272 to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

The 272

Best Seller
The 272 by Rachel L. Swarns
Hardcover $28.00
Jun 13, 2023 | ISBN 9780399590863

Preorder from:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Jun 13, 2023 | ISBN 9780399590863

    Preorder from:

  • Jun 13, 2023 | ISBN 9780399590887

    Preorder from:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Product Details


“Rachel L. Swarns’s The 272 tells the poignant story of the Black families at the heart of early Catholic America. Owned and sold by Jesuit priests, these families fought to hold on to body and soul across generations. Through dogged research and with great insight, Swarns has stitched together a history once torn apart by slavery, distance, and time.”—Adam Rothman, PhD, director of the Georgetown Center for the Study of Slavery and Its Legacies

The 272 is revealing about old sins in the Catholic Church and conclusive at tying American higher education to slavery, but the wonderful part is that Swarns reveals and persuades by telling the story of one Black family across the 1800s—people whose names you learn and lives you follow for three generations, individuals who find their way through the tunnel of enslavement and come out whole.”—Edward Ball, National Book Award–winning author of Slaves in the Family and Life of a Klansman

“Outstanding, exceptional reporting . . . an incredible project of research, deciphering, and storytelling, and a devastating indictment not only of Georgetown but also of the entire Catholic Church.”—Steven Hahn, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Nation Under Our Feet and A Nation Without Borders

“This is a deeply researched and passionately told story that speaks to our ongoing need to confront the legacy of America’s original sin of slavery.”—James M. O’Toole, author of The Faithful: A History of Catholics in America

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Rachel L. Swarns
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking “SIGN UP”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top