Faculty Book: James Oakes
The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics
(W. W. Norton, 2007)
“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. In this first book to draw the two together, James Oakes has written a masterful narrative history. He brings these two iconic figures to life and sheds new light on the central issues of slavery, race, and equality in Civil War America. James Oakes is a professor of history and holds the Humanities Chair at The Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: JAN 15, 2007