The Fiery Trial

Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

By Eric Foner
(W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393066180, 448pp.)

Publication Date: October 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Compact Disc, Compact Disc, MP3 CD

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Description
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. 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."



NPR
Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012

Politicians love to invoke Honest Abe Lincoln, often while twisting his legacy to fit their own purposes. But who was the man, really? Steve Inskeep talks to three Lincoln historians â?? Andy Ferguson, of the Weekly Standard, and Doris Kearns Goodwin and Eric Foner â?? about the books they think best capture the former president's character. (This piece initially aired April 10, 2012 on Morning Edition.) More at NPR.org

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NPR
Monday, Feb 21, 2011

Abraham Lincoln always thought slavery was unjust â?? but struggled with what to do once slavery ended. Historian Eric Foner traces how Lincoln's thoughts about slavery â?? and freed slaves â?? mirrored America's own transformation in The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. More at NPR.org

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