• The Crooked Path to Abolition

  • Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution
  • By: James Oakes
  • Narrated by: Bob Souer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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The Crooked Path to Abolition

By: James Oakes
Narrated by: Bob Souer
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Publisher's Summary

An award-winning scholar uncovers the guiding principles of Lincoln's antislavery strategies.

Lincoln adopted the antislavery view that the Constitution made freedom the rule in the United States, slavery the exception. Where federal power prevailed, so did freedom. Where state power prevailed, that state determined the status of slavery, and the federal government could not interfere. It would take state action to achieve the final abolition of American slavery. With this understanding, Lincoln and his antislavery allies used every tool available to undermine the institution. Wherever the Constitution empowered direct federal action, they intervened. As a congressman in 1849 Lincoln sponsored a bill to abolish slavery in Washington, DC. He reentered politics in 1854 to oppose what he considered the unconstitutional opening of the territories to slavery by the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

President Lincoln took full advantage of the antislavery options opened by the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation, a military order of the president, undermined slavery across the South. It led to abolition by six slave states, which then joined the coalition to affect what Lincoln called the "King's cure": state ratification of the constitutional amendment that in 1865 finally abolished slavery.

©2021 James Oakes (P)2021 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Crooked Path to Abolition

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Lincoln’s Transformation

The Crooked Path to Abolition continues the story of the slow growth of abolitionist sentiment in the Republican Party, among the public in northern states and Lincoln’s drive to keep slavery out of border states and new states entering the union. Follow’s up Oates Scorpion book - focusing in on Lincoln.

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Crooked Path Indeed!

I was introduced to this book by The Marathon County Historical Society Book Club in Wausau Wisconsin. My understanding of abolition was extremely superficial until I was introduced to this book by this month’s reading recommendations. The path to abolition was intricate and multi-pronged. Lincoln was a skilled statesman and politician . He weaved a path to abolition with skill, talent and patience in order to accomplish his life long goal of emancipation of slavery in the United States.

The presentation was expertly done and the speaker’s voice commanded attention. The writing was tight and concise. I listened to the audio and read the book twice. Thank You.

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What an interesting journey!

As indicated in the title, the path to finally abolishing slavery in the United States was longer and more complicated than hardly anyone believed, even those who thought it would long and complicated. The determination and the creativity of the abolitionists and those who, like Lincoln, came to see the necessity of abolition in a more measured way, was most enlightening. The author includes so many details which connected events that I never saw connected before. Thoroughly researched, and well written.

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Excellent history of the period

Very interesting look at the approach to abolish slavery. the tricky balance of the Constitutional. questions Lincoln faced, and the political process and pressures he had to navigate to get the job done. The book shows how talented he was as a politician, and how he maneuvered on several fronts to achieve his goal.

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Interesting

Interesting book. Almost like a good college course. So, if that's your thing, you'll love it.

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great read about Lincoln

I liked the book as it historically viewed Lincoln as human. He wasn't a Wuqker abolitionist nor was he a KKK .ideology supporter . His anti slavery ideology went through evolution and it is very nuanced.