Biographer Fred Kaplan has been a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Expect serious review attention for this look at how two presidents’ personal experience with slavery shaped very different views of slavery and the future of the nation.
“A fresh look at John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, abolitionism, and other related American history…. In this insightful, often disturbing dual biography, he makes a convincing case that Adams, working decades before Lincoln, was the real hero… eye-opening…”
— Kirkus (starred review)
“In this elegantly written and thoroughly researched book, Kaplan… relates how two presidents, Abraham Lincoln and John Quincy Adams, thought about and dealt with slavery and race. Lincoln believed that African-Americans should emigrate to Africa or another homeland. Adams, meanwhile, was an ardent abolitionist who foresaw the eventual rise of a multicultural America…. Kaplan presents a more complex Lincoln who ‘presided over the creation of a new reality that neither he nor anyone could fully embrace, or embrace in a way that would eliminate racial conflict.’”
— Publishers Weekly
Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War (9780062440006) by Fred Kaplan. $28.99 hardcover. 6/13/17 on sale.