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From a master historian, the story of Lincoln’s—and the nation’s—transformation through the crucible of slavery and emancipation.
In this landmark work of deep scholarship and insight, Eric Foner gives us the definitive history of 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. …[more]
This “masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history” (New Republic) made history when it was originally published in 1988. It redefined how Reconstruction was viewed by historians and people everywhere in its chronicling of how Americans—black and white—responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. This “smart book of enormous strengths” (Boston Globe) has since gone on to become the classic work on the wrenching post-Civil War period—an era whose legacy reverberates still today in the United States.