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The Fiery Trial

Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

Eric Foner (Author, Columbia University)


“A masterwork [by] the preeminent historian of the Civil War era.”—Boston Globe

Selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, this landmark work gives us a definitive account of Lincoln's lifelong engagement with the nation's critical issue: American slavery. A master historian, Eric Foner draws Lincoln and the broader history of the period into perfect balance. We see Lincoln, a pragmatic politician grounded in principle, deftly navigating the dynamic politics of antislavery, secession, and civil war. Lincoln's greatness emerges from his capacity for moral and political growth.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 2011
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34066-2
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 448 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

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  1. Book CoverThe Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery



Endorsements & Reviews

“Do we need another book on Lincoln? Yes, we do—if the book is by so richly informed a commentator as Eric Foner.” — David S. Reynolds, The New York Times Book Review

“Starred Review. Original and compelling….In the vast library on Lincoln, Foner’s book stands out as the most sensible and sensitive reading of Lincoln’s lifetime involvement with slavery and the most insightful assessment of Lincoln’s—and indeed America’s—imperative to move toward freedom lest it be lost. An essential work for all Americans.” — Library Journal

“Moving and rewarding. . . . A master historian at work.” — David W. Blight, San Francisco Chronicle

“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, New York Review of Books

“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, author of Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World

Also by Eric Foner All

  1. Book CoverGateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad


  2. Book CoverGive Me Liberty!: An American History

    Brief Third Edition / Ebook

    Volume(s): 1

  3. Book CoverGive Me Liberty!: An American History

    Fourth Edition / Hardcover

    Volume(s): One Volume

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