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The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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No one else has written about [Lincoln's] trajectory of change with such balance, fairness, depth of analysis, and lucid precision of language. --James M. McPherson
This is a definitive history of Lincoln's leadership of a divided nation and a milestone in our understanding of possibly the most important moment in American history. --Good Book Guide --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE FIERY TRIAL: "While many thousands of books deal with Lincoln and slavery, Eric Foner has written the definitive account of this crucial subject, illuminating in a highly original and profound way the interactions of race, slavery, public opinion, politics, and Lincoln's own character that led to the wholly improbable uncompensated emancipation of some four million slaves. Even seasoned historians will acquire fresh and new perspectives from reading The Fiery Trial." --David Brion Davis, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University, author of Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World "Definitive and breathtaking: with dazzling clarity and authority, demonstrating a total command of his sources and a sense of moral justice that transcends history, Foner has done nothing less than provide the most persuasive book ever written on Lincoln's vital place in the fight for freedom in America. This volume stands alone in the field. It is not only the best account ever written on the subject; henceforth, it should be regarded as the only account." --Harold Holzer, author of Lincoln President-Elect "Eric Foner has done it again. The Fiery Trial explores the pivotal subject of Lincoln and slavery free from the mists of hagiography and the muck of denigration. With his usual stylish mastery, Foner advances enlightened debate over our greatest president, the origins and unfolding of the Civil War, and the abolition of southern slavery. His book marks an auspicious intellectual beginning to the sesquicentennial of the American Iliad." --Sean Wilentz, author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Lincoln’s development occurred in the body politic in which he lived. That body affected Lincoln and was shaped by him. Author Eric Foner delves into evidence of the reasons for the positions Lincoln adopted along the way. He studies how the Central Illinois incubator of Lincoln’s career shaped his early views, both from the air he breathed and votes he sought. He explores the origins of the premise that whites and blacks could not coexist in one country and how that premise made emigration of freedmen a necessary part of any emancipation scheme. He goes on to explore how the shifting winds of the war blew emigration off the table and deprived the south of its real chance of emerging from the War with its peculiar institution intact. Lincoln’s agonizing over the legality of the Emancipation Proclamation is shown as reflecting uncertain future of slavery in a post-war nation.
I think that this book does an excellent job in depicting the multiple facets that made slavery and its eradication such a complicated dilemma for the men who struggled with it. Foner’s writing style holds the readers interest through the anecdotal stories and in depth analysis. “The Fiery Trial” is an aid in understanding this core issue of our great national schism.
This, in a sense, is the essence of what made Lincoln great - his capacity for growth, his willingness to change, his open-mindedness. Lincoln was as much a product of his era as any man and he shared many of his countrymen's prejudices concerning the slaves. Was he a racist? As we would understand the term today, almost certainly. He was not born an abolitionist. Whilst he may have believed slavery a moral wrong and believed every man entitled to his freedom, he did not consider African-Americans the social equal of whites. He did not share many of the views of the Radical Republicans and did not set out at the beginning of his presidency to preside over the break-up of slavery.
And yet Lincoln freed the slaves. Lincoln has come down through history as the Great Emancipator. And it is to the endless fortune of America that 'cometh the hour, cometh the man'. In this masterful book, Eric Foner charts the evolution of Lincoln's beliefs regarding slavery and the slaves - from his early talks on the evils of slavery, tempered with the insistence that the slave was not his social or political equal, through to the Emancipation Proclamation and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, granting freedom now and forever to the slaves.
This is a deserved Pulitzer winner, blowing away the cobwebs of myth and legend that have accumulated around Lincoln's presidency, showing his beliefs and prejudices in a honest light. Lincoln was no saint, but he comes across as a better man for that, a man with the capacity to recognise his own shortcomings and rise above them, for the enduring benefit of his country.
The book will surprise most of us whose history of the Civil War goes no further than what we've learned in grade school. For example, the famous Emancipation Proclamation surprisingly did not free all the slaves in the Union at once. Those in the border states who had not seceded from the Union (as well as some isolated places elsewhere) got to keep their slaves. It was only late in the War that Lincoln realized this would not work and advocated for an amendment to end slavery completely.
For anyone interested in Civil War history, this book is a must in understanding the complicated role slavery played in the Civil War and Lincoln's thoughts.
"The Fiery Trial," however, is written as a popular history book. It is not written in the fashionable narrative style that so many authors use today. It is well written and well-researched, but it will not flow like a novel, if that is what you are looking for. However, it is extremely informative and well worth the effort of reading. I would definitely recommend if you have an interest in American history and race relations. I think this book should be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the unique history that has brought the United States to where it is today.
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