James Oakes is the author of several acclaimed books on slavery and the Civil War. His history of emancipation, Freedom National, won the Lincoln Prize and was longlisted for the National Book Award. He is Distinguished Professor of History and Graduate School Humanities Professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politicsby James Oakes
"A great American tale told with a deft historical eye, painstaking analysis, and a supple clarity of writing.”—Jean Baker“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/p>
"A great American tale told with a deft historical eye, painstaking analysis, and a supple clarity of writing.”—Jean Baker“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. James Oakes has written a masterful narrative history, bringing two iconic figures to life and shedding new light on the central issues of slavery, race, and equality in Civil War America.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Mr Oakes concludes this book with denial of writing a "dual biography." Despite this claim, the insight he provides with investigation of each man's words, Mr Oakes paints two near biographical pictures of each Civil War era players' ethics, morals, and core beliefs. While this book reads as quickly as a fictional paperback, the author imparts an immense amount of information. In chronological order, each chapter allows Mr Oakes to posit several questions or theories before using his research and writings of the time to offer his interpretation of how events transpired and advanced, ultimately throwing America into a Civil War. Without admonishing either man for slowly evolving to meet the same goal, Mr Oakes responsibly conveys biases, social beliefs, and barriers of the day in a matter-of-fact way.