Lincoln’s Proclamation

Emancipation Reconsidered

Edited by William A. Blair, Karen Fisher Younger

248 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 20 illus., notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-7220-8
    Published: February 2012
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-9541-2
    Published: November 2009

Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era

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The Emancipation Proclamation, widely remembered as the heroic act that ended slavery, in fact freed slaves only in states in the rebellious South. True emancipation was accomplished over a longer period and by several means. Essays by eight distinguished contributors consider aspects of the president's decision making, as well as events beyond Washington, offering new insights on the consequences and legacies of freedom, the engagement of black Americans in their liberation, and the issues of citizenship and rights that were not decided by Lincoln's document. The essays portray emancipation as a product of many hands, best understood by considering all the actors, the place, and the time.

The contributors are William A. Blair, Richard Carwardine, Paul Finkelman, Louis Gerteis, Steven Hahn, Stephanie McCurry, Mark E. Neely Jr., Michael Vorenberg, and Karen Fisher Younger.

About the Authors

William Blair is professor of U.S. history and director of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at the Pennsylvania State University. He is author of Cities of the Dead: Contesting the Memory of the Civil War in the South.
For more information about William A. Blair, visit the Author Page.

Karen Fisher Younger is an independent scholar who lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
For more information about Karen Fisher Younger, visit the Author Page.


"Provides an excellent history of the proclamation."--The Federal Lawyer

"Common themes emerge within this complex interweaving of subject matter and interests. . . . Represents the best of current scholarship on Abraham Lincoln."--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

“This volume presents carefully constructed analyses of new issues, refreshing contributions to old debates, and a basic initiation into emancipation scholarship. Scholars looking for new approaches to the diverse literature on Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation would be wise to start their reading with this book.” --The Journal of Southern History

"This volume offers a useful look at how modern historians deal with emancipation."--Louisiana History

"Written in an accessible style that will appeal to general readers, these essays are also certain to draw the attention of scholars and students of Lincoln and, particularly, of emancipation during the Civil War. This volume is an important addition to a growing body of scholarship."--Joseph P. Reidy, Howard University

"Offering fresh and provocative scholarship, a wide range of views, and sure narrative styles, this volume will inspire comment and controversy and will instantly take its place as a standard text for students exploring the details of the emancipation story and looking for in-depth analysis of a subject that has only recently emerged from decades of scholarly neglect."--Harold Holzer, coeditor of Lincoln and Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Thirteenth Amendment