ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND FREDERICK DOUGLASS by Russell Freedman
Kirkus Star

ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND FREDERICK DOUGLASS

The Story Behind an American Friendship
Age Range: 9 - 14
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass met only three times, but their friendship changed a nation.

Lincoln was white and president of the United States; Douglass was black and a former slave. Yet they were kindred spirits: Both had risen from poverty to prominence, both were self-educated men and both had a book in common: Caleb Bingham’s The Columbian Orator. In fact, 12-year-old Douglass was secretly reading the book of speeches and dialogues in Baltimore at the same time Lincoln was reading it in Illinois, and the appendix here presents an excerpt, “Dialogue between a Master and Slave.” When they first met, in 1863, the nation was at war. Lincoln struggled to keep the nation together, while Douglass welcomed war as a first step toward ending slavery; Douglass was ever the voice of moral conscience, nudging Lincoln to do the right thing on behalf of the enslaved. In this slim volume, Freedman makes a narrative challenge look effortless. He tells the stories of two prominent Americans, traces the debate over slavery from the Missouri Compromise to the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dred Scott decision and explains how these events created a momentum that pushed the nation toward war. He does all of this in a lucid and fascinating narrative that never sacrifices depth and intellectual rigor.

A marvel of history writing that makes complicated history clear and interesting. (selected bibliography, notes, picture credits) (Nonfiction. 9-14) 

Pub Date: June 19th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-547-38562-4
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2012




BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF 2012: REACHING BACK INTO TIME:

ChildrenFIFTY CENTS AND A DREAM by Jabari Asim
by Jabari Asim
ChildrenELECTRIC BEN by Robert Byrd
by Robert Byrd
ChildrenHEROES OF THE SURF by Elisa Carbone
by Elisa Carbone
ChildrenTHE MIGHTY MISS MALONE by Christopher Paul Curtis
by Christopher Paul Curtis
ChildrenTHE WILD BOOK by Margarita Engle
by Margarita Engle
ChildrenWE MARCH by Shane W.  Evans
by Shane W. Evans

MORE BY RUSSELL FREEDMAN

ChildrenWE WILL NOT BE SILENT by Russell Freedman
by Russell Freedman
ChildrenANGEL ISLAND by Russell Freedman
by Russell Freedman

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionSNOW-STORM IN AUGUST by Jefferson Morley
by Jefferson Morley
AdultLINCOLN AND SLAVERY by Peter Burchard
by Peter Burchard
ChildrenA VOLCANO BENEATH THE SNOW by Albert Marrin
by Albert Marrin