The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery


By (author) Eric Foner

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  • Publisher: WW Norton & Co
  • Format: Paperback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 210mm x 28mm | 390g
  • Publication date: 24 January 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 039334066X
  • ISBN 13: 9780393340662
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: 16 pages of black-and-white illustrations; 3 maps
  • Sales rank: 88,853

Product description

In a landmark work of deep scholarship and insight, Eric Foner gives us a life of Lincoln as it intertwined with slavery, the defining issue of the time and the tragic hallmark of American history. As the nation expanded into new western territories and economic pursuits, the continuing strength of slavery spawned a new and divisive politics. Lincoln navigated this dynamic political landscape deftly, often on a path forged by abolitionists and radicals in his party. Lincoln's personal and political journey led him finally to embrace what he called the Civil War's "astounding" result - the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery - and recognition of blacks as American citizens. Foner's Lincoln is a leader whose greatness lay in his capacity for moral and political growth.

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Author information

Eric Foner's major works reshaped the fields of Civil War and Reconstruction history, and won the Bancroft, Parkman, and Los Angeles Times Book prizes. He is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. Also available: The Story of American Freedom (ISBN 978 0 393 319620) and Our Lincoln (ISBN 978 0 393 33705 1).

Review quote

"...Eric Foner's remarkable book..." Erica Wagner, The Times "...magisterial study...Foner's book is a triumph..." The Irish Times "The Fiery Trial provides an excellent, nuanced, and challenging account..." Reviews in History "Eric Foner's examination of Lincoln and American slavery is...timely as well as brilliant." The Herald "...ambitious and absorbing investigation..." The Scotsman Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in History. "...a master historian persuasively traces Lincoln's crucial route to the ending of slavery." History Today "Such is the quality of Foner's scholarship...that he has succeeded in writing a book that will become required reading for all Lincoln students...The Lincoln with whom this excellent book leaves us is a worthy choice of role model for the current president." Literary Review

Back cover copy

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