Nonfiction review: The Fiery Trial

“So many layers of adulation, idolatry and mythology cling to the homely frame of Abraham Lincoln that one is puzzled to know how much is left when they are all chipped away,” historian Thomas A. Bailey once wrote.

In “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery,” Eric Foner, professor of history at Columbia University, cuts through those layers to get to the real Lincoln.

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