Emancipation: James Oakes & Sean Wilentz in Conversation

FEB 04, 2013 | 6:30 PM TO 8:00 PM

Photo credits: Holger Thoss, Daniel Kramer



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


1201: Elebash Recital Hall


February 04, 2013: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM


Free, Reservations Required


Public Programs


212-817-8215 or


James Oakes, distinguished professor of history at the Graduate Center, discusses Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865, his new book about the aims of the Civil War, with Sean Wilentz, the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University. With Freedom National, Oakes, a leading figure in the study of the Civil War, Reconstruction, slavery, and the Old South, lays to rest the popular notion that the Civil War was merely a war to restore the Union. He argues instead for antislavery’s centrality to the war. Oakes’s previous books include The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics; Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South; and The Ruling Race: A History of American Slaveholders. Noted historian and public intellectual Sean Wilentz has written with precision on such topics as race and class in America, popular music, and contemporary politics. His many books include the Bancroft Prize-winning The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln; Bob Dylan in America; and The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008.