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Short Synopsis
From a master historian, the story of Abraham Lincoln's—and the nation's—transformation through the crucible of slavery and emancipation.

Full Synopsis
In this landmark work of deep scholarship and insight, Eric Foner gives us the definitive history of Abraham 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.

"[A] searching portrait." ---Publishers Weekly

"Foner's book stands out as the most sensitive and sensible reading of Lincoln's lifetime involvement with slavery." ---Library Journal Starred Review

"Foner has written the definitive account of this crucial subject.... Even seasoned historians will acquire fresh and new perspectives from reading The Fiery Trial." ---David Brion Davis, author of Inhuman Bondage
Library Journal Review


The Fiery Trial

Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

Author Eric Foner

Narrated by Norman Dietz

Publication date Oct 12, 2010

Running time 18 hrs

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