The Hammer and the Anvil: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery in America

The Hammer and the Anvil: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery in America


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The period leading up to the Civil War was one of great change. Congress divided itself between Northerners and Southerners, citizens on the frontier took up arms against one another, and movements for secession and abolition were more urgent than ever.

In The Hammer and the Anvil, the award-winning author Dwight Jon Zimmerman and the renowned artist Wayne Vansant vividly depict the tumultuous time through the lives of two men who defined it: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

With a foreword by the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian James M. McPherson, The Hammer and the Anvil reveals that its protagonists each wrestled with the question of slavery from a young age. Douglass, a slave who was spared no brutality, once fought an especially cruel master and eventually escaped north to freedom. Lincoln, who was hired out by his father to do manual labor on neighbors' farms, found this harsh life intolerable. As a senator, Lincoln sought ways to end the westward spread of slavery, believing that adding free states to the Union would diminish the power of the Southern states and lead to the gradual disappearance of the "peculiar institution." Douglass was less patient. He had become a skilled orator and an influential editor of Northern abolitionist journals, and called on white Americans to honor their nation's founding commitment to liberty.

When the Civil War erupted in April 1861, Douglass hoped that the conflict would mean the end of slavery. But Lincoln delayed emancipation, and Douglass despaired—until he met the president face-to-face and recognized that their causes were one and the same. Featuring evocative and dramatic scenes of this seminal time, The Hammer and the Anvil will engage both Civil War buffs and young people new to the study of American history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809053582
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 07/17/2012
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 14.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dwight Jon Zimmerman is the coauthor with Bill O'Reilly of The New York Times bestseller Lincoln's Last Days. He is the author of The Vietnam War: A Graphic History and the co-executive producer of the Discovery Channel's miniseries First Command. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Wayne Vansant is the illustrator of The 'Nam and The Vietnam War: A Graphic History, among many other works. He lives in Mableton, Georgia.

James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of History, Emeritus, at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous award-winning books on the Civil War, including Battle Cry of Freedom, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

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The Hammer and the Anvil: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery in America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
BuckStienke More than 1 year ago
Dwight Zimmerman and Wayne Vansant have teamed up to produce a masterful study of the two arguably most important players in political fight to eliminate slavery in America. Aimed toward the young adult audience, it captures the essence of the two men, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, from their lowly births all the way to the White House and Mr. Douglass' position as US Counsel General to Haiti. The scholarship and research invested in this book are clearly evident. The book provides the reader with a much greater appreciation for both historical figure as men. It clearly chronicles each's strengths and weaknesses and their innate grasp of politics. It also shows the process by which a determined man can help change the minds and attitudes of hundreds of thousands of others. I truly think young people will greatly benefit from reading this book. Vansant's illustration brings the characters to life and should help keep their interest in the story all the way to the end.
AnObjectivist More than 1 year ago
My highest recommendation for this "graphic novel" double-biography. Writer and artist use color in a very effective way (which I won't describe here; let it surprise you). Here are the stories of two actual American heroes, who have helped define what America is all about. Great moral inspiration for teen readers, and adults of any age.