Synopses & Reviews
In this landmark work of deep scholarship and insight, Eric Foner gives us the definitive history of Abraham Lincoln and the end of slavery in America. Foner begins with Lincoln's youth in Indiana and Illinois and follows the trajectory of his career across an increasingly tense and shifting political terrain from Illinois to Washington, D.C. Although "naturally anti-slavery" for as long as he can remember, Lincoln scrupulously holds to the position that the Constitution protects the institution in the original slave states. But the political landscape is transformed in 1854 when the Kansas-Nebraska Act makes the expansion of slavery a national issue.
A man of considered words and deliberate actions, Lincoln navigates the dynamic politics deftly, taking measured steps, often along a path forged by abolitionists and radicals in his party. Lincoln rises to leadership in the new Republican Party by calibrating his politics to the broadest possible antislavery coalition. As president of a divided nation and commander in chief at war, displaying a similar compound of pragmatism and principle, Lincoln finally embraces what he calls the Civil War's "fundamental and astounding" result: the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery and recognition of blacks as American citizens.
Foner's Lincoln emerges as a leader, one whose greatness lies in his capacity for moral and political growth through real engagement with allies and critics alike. This powerful work will transform our understanding of the nation's greatest president and the issue that mattered most.
"[A] searching portrait." ---Publishers Weekly
From a master historian, the story of Abraham Lincoln's---and the nation's---transformation through the crucible of slavery and emancipation.
From a master historian, the story of Abraham Lincoln's—and the nation's—transformation through the crucible of slavery and emancipation.
About the Author
Eric Foner is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, where he earned his B.A. and Ph.D. He has written a number of books on the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery, and nineteenth-century America, including Forever Free and Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men. His Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 won the Bancroft, Parkman, and Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and remains the standard history of the period. In 2006, Eric received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching at Columbia University. He has served as president of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Society of American Historians. Norman Dietz is a writer, an actor, and a solo performer. Since 1962, he has toured coast to coast, presenting his work before audiences all over the United States and Canada. He is the author of the comic novel Nailing It, as well as Fables and Vaudevilles and Plays and The Lifeguard and the Mermaid, collections of his work for the stage. Norman has also performed frequently on radio and television, and he has recorded over 150 audiobooks, many of which have earned him awards from AudioFile magazine, the ALA, and Publishers Weekly. Additionally, AudioFile named Norman one of the Best Voices of the Century. He lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.