A masterful narrative history, bringing to life two iconic figures and shedding new light on the central issues of slavery, race, and equality in Civil War America. Abraham Lincoln—frontier lawyer, cautious politician, and the President—and Frederick Douglass—former slave, fiery reformer, and the most famous black man in America—traced different paths that finally met in the bloody landscape of secession, Civil War, and emancipation. Opponents at first, they gradually became allies, each influenced by and attracted to the other. Their three meetings in the White House signaled a profound shift in the direction of the Civil War, and in the fate of the United States.
In the weeks after Lincoln’s assassination, Mary Todd Lincoln wrote to Frederick Douglass: “My husband considered you a dear friend.”