• Freedom National

  • The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865
  • By: James Oakes
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Freedom National

By: James Oakes
Narrated by: Sean Pratt
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Publisher's Summary

The consensus view of the Civil War - that it was first and foremost a war to restore the Union, and an antislavery war only later when it became necessary for Union victory - dies here.

James Oakes’s groundbreaking history shows how deftly Lincoln and congressional Republicans pursued antislavery throughout the war, pragmatic in policy but steadfast on principle. In the disloyal South the federal government quickly began freeing slaves, immediately and without slaveholder compensation, as they fled to Union lines.

In the loyal Border States the Republicans tried coaxing officials into abolishing slavery gradually with promises of compensation. As the devastating war continued with slavery still entrenched, Republicans embraced a more aggressive military emancipation, triggered by the Emancipation Proclamation. Finally it took a constitutional amendment on abolition to achieve the Union’s primary goal in the war. Here, in a magisterial history, are the intertwined stories of emancipation and the Civil War.

©2012 James Oakes (P)2012 Gildan Media LLC
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Freedom National

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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An Excellent Book on an Important and little understood subject

Excellent book on a subject that we know so little about. Indeed, it is a subject that we don’t even know that we don’t know. I have read many of James Oakes books and have found his scholarship on the antislavery movement inspiring. This is the culmination of that scholarship. I highly recommend.
I would only add that the narrator was quite good. He clearly and powerfully brings the text to life. Many thanks.

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Listen with Caution

It feels a bit rose-tinted at places, but overall quite entertaining. Well worth the credit, but I would not recommend it as your first book read about the civil war or emancipation.

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  • 07-22-20

Very thorough and enlightening

Well argued and documented discussion of how slavery was painfully abolished and a similarly well documented discussion of the abolitionist intent of Lincoln and most Republicans and the Constitutional barriers they struggled to overcome

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decent story overall

very repetitive. the narrator was great. goal was to suggest that the Emancipation Proclamation was no big deal.

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game changer. excellent history of antislavery pol

a much needed recovery Republican antislavrry policy under the freedom national principle. highly recommended reading