Read Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War Online Free - The acclaimed biographer, with a thought-provoking exploration of how Abraham Lincoln’s and John Quincy Adams’ experiences with slavery and race shaped their differing viewpoints, provides both perceptive insights into these two great presidents and a revealing perspective on race relations in modern America.
Lincoln, who in afterlife became mythologized as the Great Emancipator, was shaped by the values of the white America into which he was born. While he viewed slavery as a moral crime abhorrent to American principles, he disapproved of anti-slavery activists. Until the last year of his life, he advocated "voluntary deportation," concerned that free blacks in a white society would result in centuries of conflict. In 1861, he had reluctantly taken the nation to war to save it. While this devastating struggle would preserve the Union, it would also abolish slavery—creating the biracial democracy Lincoln feared. John Quincy Adams, forty years earlier, was convinced that only a civil war would end slavery and preserve the Union. An antislavery activist, he had concluded that a multiracial America was inevitable.
Lincoln and the Abolitionists, a frank look at Lincoln, "warts and all," provides an in-depth look at how these two presidents came to see the issues of slavery and race, and how that understanding shaped their perspectives. In a far-reaching historical narrative, Fred Kaplan offers a nuanced appreciation of both these great men and the events that have characterized race relations in America for more than a century—a legacy that continues to haunt us all.
The book has a colorful supporting cast from the relatively obscure Dorcas Allen, Moses Parsons, Violet Parsons, Theophilus Parsons, Phoebe Adams, John King, Charles Fenton Mercer, Phillip Doddridge, David Walker, Usher F. Linder, and H. Ford Douglas to Elijah Lovejoy, Francis Scott Key, William Channing, Wendell Phillips, and Rufus King. The cast includes Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln’s first vice president, and James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, the two presidents on either side of Lincoln. And it includes Abigail Adams, John Adams, Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and Frederick Douglass, who hold honored places in the American historical memory.
The subject of this book is slavery and racism, the paradox of Lincoln, our greatest president, as an antislavery moralist who believed in an exclusively white America; and Adams, our most brilliant statesman, as an antislavery activist who had no doubt that the United States would become a multiracial nation. It is as much about the present as the past.
|Title||:||Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War|
|Number of Pages||:||352 pages|
June 12, 2017
Interesting how the distorted lens of history gives us a rose-colored view of Abraham Lincoln as a slave-fighting hero. He was not, at least not in the way he's typically portrayed. While he found slavery morally troubling, without the threat of secession by the south he likely would have been co...
August 24, 2017
Had to quit this halfway through. The introduction is strong and sets out some interesting points but it quickly goes off the rails to infodump town. There is no focus to this book and no explanations either. It seems like it is setup like a popular history but it reads like a historian on cocain...
July 29, 2017
Fred Kaplan is an accomplished author who has written critically praised books on Dickens, Vidal and James. This book examines Lincoln as an abolitionist. It is not a biography. It is not hagiography. It is based on the premise that Lincoln's sudden death made him into a secular saint and transfo...
August 25, 2017
As a Lincoln scholar, this was a tough book to read for a variety of reasons. Kaplan is obviously enamored of John Quincy Adams, the subject of one of his previous biographies. The book contrasts Adams's attitudes and actions regarding slavery with Lincoln's, finding Lincoln sorely lacking becaus...
July 26, 2017
Lincoln wasn't John Quincy Adams. End of story.
September 01, 2017
The author compares the views on slavery of John Quincy Adams to those of Abraham Lincoln, and describes the contribution to their perspectives by a number of lesser known abolitionists, such as Wendell Phillips and Elijah Lovejoy. Despite the fact that Lincoln faced enormous challenges in preser...
August 20, 2017
Unless you get your history from Ken Burns or Steven Spielberg, you are probably aware that Abraham Lincoln was in no way, shape, or form an abolitionist when it came to slavery in the United States. A supporter of the American Colonization Society which promoted the removal and resettling of fre...
July 13, 2017
"The bloodiest war ever waged is infinitely better than the happiest slavery which ever fattened men into obedience. And yet I love peace. But it is real peace; not peace such as we have had; not peace that meant lynch-law in the Carolinas and mob law in New York; not peace that meant chains arou...
July 26, 2017
I was given a copy of this book by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.
Today's post is on Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War by Fred Kaplan. It is 352 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The cover is white with pictures of the differ...
December 16, 2017
First, the negatives: You'll get your exercise reading this book, which lunges and jumps around in its presentation of political attitudes on race from the Federalist period through the Civil War. It also could have used a stronger editing hand--I once counted three consecutive sentences each one...