Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War

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Ira Berlin
New Press, 1992 - History - 571 pages
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"Free at Last" brings together some of the most remarkable letters ever written by Americans. Made affordable and widely available for the first time, these letters, along with personal testimony, official transcripts, and other records, are drawn from the award-winning landmark reference volumes originally published by Cambridge University Press under the title "Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation."

With great immediacy, the letters depict the drama of emancipation in the midst of the nation's bloodiest conflict, and convey the struggle of black men and women to overthrow the slave system, to aid the Union cause as laborers and soldiers, and to give meaning to their newly won freedom in a war-torn nation. The documents also show the active role of slaves and former slaves in transforming a war for the Union into a war against slavery, demonstrating, according to the "Journal of American History," "that the destruction of slavery was accomplished through black self-determination." Perhaps most importantly, the documents vividly demonstrate how emancipation transformed the lives of all Americans, black and white.

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Review: Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War

User Review  - Zena Ryder - Goodreads

An excellent book, which I will be reading in chunks every now and again. Read full review

About the author (1992)

Ira Berlin is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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