368 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 24 halftones, 1 tables, notes, bibl., index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2731-1
Published: April 2016
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2732-8
Published: February 2016
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6394-4
Published: February 2021
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Awards & distinctions
2017 Bobbie and John Nau Book Prize in American Civil War Era History, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia
Crofts unearths the hidden history and political maneuvering behind the stillborn attempt to enact this amendment, the polar opposite of the actual Thirteenth Amendment of 1865 that ended slavery. This compelling book sheds light on an overlooked element of Lincoln’s statecraft and presents a relentlessly honest portrayal of America’s most admired president. Crofts rejects the view advanced by some Lincoln scholars that the wartime momentum toward emancipation originated well before the first shots were fired. Lincoln did indeed become the “Great Emancipator,” but he had no such intention when he first took office. Only amid the crucible of combat did the war to save the Union become a war for freedom.
About the Author
Daniel Crofts is the author of Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis.
For more information about Daniel W. Crofts, visit the Author Page.
“[An] intelligent and absorbing book. . . . Challenges the dominant emancipationist narrative and forces a new look at the dynamics and directions of politics and public interest during the secession crisis.”--Library Journal
“Meticulously detailed. . . . A thorough look at the dissension that tore the country apart.”--Kirkus Reviews
"A well-written and exhaustively researched study"--Civil War Monitor
“A highly readable account of a seldom-remembered feature of early Civil War history. Highly recommended.”--Choice
"A well researched and thought-provoking book about Abraham Lincoln and his position on slavery."--North Carolina Historical Review
“An essential study of Republican ideology and the political efforts to prevent secession in the months following Lincoln’s election.” --The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society