The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics

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The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics

Author: James Oakes
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 328
Cover Price: $ 26.95

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A major history of Civil War America through the lens of its two towering figures: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

"My husband considered you a dear friend," Mary Todd Lincoln wrote to Frederick Douglass in the weeks after Lincoln's assassination. The frontier lawyer and the former slave, the cautious politician and the fiery reformer, the president and the most famous black man in America--their lives traced different paths that finally met in the bloody landscape of secession, Civil War, and emancipation. Opponents at first, they gradually became allies, each influenced by and attracted to the other. Their three meetings in the White House signaled a profound shift in the direction of the Civil War, and in the fate of the United States.

In this first book to draw the two together, James Oakes has written a masterful narrative history. He brings these two iconic figures to life and sheds new light on the central issues of slavery, race, and equality in Civil War America.

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Background Information

Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President and led the Union during the Civil War. Frederick Douglass was a former slave who became a spokesman for abolition and eventually a wartime friend of Lincoln. Mary Todd Lincoln was the wife of Abraham Lincoln and lived a controversial life both before and after his death. With the Civil War drawing to a close, President Lincoln was shot to death by John Wilkes Booth as he watched a play at Ford's Theater in Washington DC.