Sarah’s Long Walk , about Bos"/>

Douglass and Lincoln: How a Revolutionary Black Leader and a Reluctant Liberator Struggled to End Slavery and Save the Union

Paul Kendrick, Author, Stephen Kendrick, Author . Walker $26.95 (306p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1523-4

Paul Kendrick, assistant director of the Harlem Children’s Zoo, and his father, Stephen, a Boston minister (coauthors of Sarah’s Long Walk , about Boston’s free blacks) give a thorough look at two unlikely allies. Lincoln began as a white supremacist who saw Douglass as an exception to the rule of black inferiority. What is more, his first priority was the preservation of the Union. The onetime slave Douglass, on the other hand, stood uncompromisingly for complete emancipation, to be followed by full and equal citizenship. He further held that the Civil War’s massive carnage could only be redeemed by the annihilation of the “peculiar institution.” Despite their mutual respect, the two men had only three face-to-face meetings, just two of these in private. Thus, this study of Douglass, Lincoln and their “relationship” is chiefly a discussion of evolving rhetoric, primarily Lincoln’s on such topics as emancipation, black service in the Union ranks and black suffrage, and how his views initially contrasted with, but were eventually influenced by, Douglass’s fiery arguments in public speeches and newspaper editorials. This is a workmanlike narrative of the same story recently explored by James Oakes in his critically praised The Radical and the Republican . 23 b&w photos. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/12/2007
Release date: 12/01/2007
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