Bill Gibson's Reviews > The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

The Fiery Trial by Eric Foner
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Apr 08, 12


Brilliant quasi-biography focused on Lincoln's ever-evolving approach to slavery. The book cements my view that Lincoln learned greatness during the course of his presidency. The book also gave appropriate attention to Lincoln's work as a practical politician, dealing with his party, congress, and patronage issues. Favorite anecdote: when Lincoln's black valet, William H. Johnson died in 1864, Lincoln arranged for him to be buried in Arlington cemetery, with a headstone (paid for by Lincoln) that read "CITIZEN."
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