AP US History
19 August 2011
Summer Reading Book Review: THE RADICAL AND THE REPUBLICAN
The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics is a non-fiction novel that was authored in 2007 by James Oakes who possibly was a historian. The novel goes back in time and clearly and accurately involves the most significant dates and events. James Oakes writes this book while narrating in a chronological style. He surprisingly takes into account the personal and political lives of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln making the novel more of a biography about two important historical figures. Oakes believes that if it were not for both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, slavery would have been abolished decades of years later: possibly never. He also strongly supported the fact that Lincoln tried and was successful in saving the Union by defeating the Confederate Army of the South. Personally, these main ideas or thesis, by Oakes is true based on the actual historical facts.
The narration by James Oakes starts in the mid 1850’s in the American North (The Union) but specifically in the Illinois state. Here Abraham Lincoln was running for the Illinois Senate against a rival ironically named Stephen Douglas. He gets elected into the senate and in the early 1860’s Lincoln is inaugurated as the President. At the time, Frederick Douglas, a former slave living in the North, was a slave- abolitionist and close to a radical although he hated politics. So in the 1860’s, President Lincoln (under the Republican Party) began pushing towards the emancipation of slavery in the south. He argued that slaves were human too, that God did not justify it, and the Founding Fathers did not approve of it when they wrote the Constitution. Despite of the opposition down south, the north was really supportive of Lincoln’s objectives. However, Lincoln’s real intentions were not to eliminate racial...