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A book series with Verso
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A War of Emancipation

The Republicans were emancipators—from start to finish. For more than half a century historians have been obsessed with the supposed differences between radical and moderate Republicans on the slavery issue, but they’ve come up with nothing substantial. Ironically, this preoccupation with “finding the radicals” has the effect of marginalizing them, for it obscures the success […]

The War of Northern Aggression

A leading Civil War historian challenges the new orthodoxy about how slavery ended in America. On 6 November 1860, the six-year-old Republican Party elected its first president. During the tense crisis months that followed – the “secession winter” of 1860–61 – practically all observers believed that Lincoln and the Republicans would begin attacking slavery as soon as they took […]

James Oakes

James Oakes teaches American History at the CUNY Graduate Center. His latest book is Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States.