Last updated: April 10, 2015
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship, by Russell Freedman. Boston: Clarion Books, 2012.
Author Russell Freedman, a Newberry Medal winner for Lincoln: A Photobiography, once again sets his sights on Lincoln, but this time he writes a joint biography about the friendship of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Freedman presents a carefully researched account of two lives and how they intersected at a critical moment in U.S. history. The two great men had many similarities in their backgrounds.Both were born poor and self-educated. And both rose to prominence by their own efforts. Though they met only three times, they shared a common purpose- eliminating slavery in the United States. Theirs was a bond based on mutual respect and understanding. Though their meetings were few and brief, their exchange of ideas helped to end the Civil War, reunite the nation, and abolish slavery.
Freedman presents the life stories of these two great men in alternating chapters. Toward the end of the book, their stories merge as the Civil War breaks out. Period illustrations and an assortment of Lincoln's and Douglass's own words, help breathe life into both men as their stories unfold. Freedman's book is an excellent introduction to the lives of both of these important icons in American history. The book is recommended for readers 10 and up.