by Bruce C. Levine
A “powerful” (The Wall Street Journal) biography of one of the 19th century’s greatest statesmen, encompassing his decades-long fight against slavery and his postwar struggle to bring racial justice to America.
Thaddeus Stevens was among the first to see the Civil War as an opportunity for a second American revolution—a chance to remake the country as a genuine multiracial democracy. As one of the foremost abolitionists in Congress in the years leading up to the war, he was a leader of the young Republican Party’s radical wing, fighting for anti-slavery and anti-racist policies long before party colleagues like Abraham Lincoln endorsed them. These policies—including welcoming black men into the Union’s armies—would prove crucial to the Union war effort.