Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Hammer and the Anvil

The Hammer and the Anvil

Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery in America

Dwight Jon Zimmerman; Art by Wayne Vansant; Foreword by James M. McPherson

Hill and Wang



The period leading up to the Civil War was one of great change. Congress divided itself between Northerners and Southerners, citizens on the frontier took up arms against one another, and movements for secession and abolition were more urgent than ever.

In The Hammer and the Anvil, the award-winning author Dwight Jon Zimmerman and the renowned artist Wayne Vansant vividly depict the tumultuous time through the lives of two men who defined it: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

With a foreword by the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian James M. McPherson, The Hammer and the Anvil reveals that its protagonists each wrestled with the question of slavery from a young age. Douglass, a slave who was spared no brutality, once fought an especially cruel master and eventually escaped north to freedom. Lincoln, who was hired out by his father to do manual labor on neighbors' farms, found this harsh life intolerable. As a senator, Lincoln sought ways to end the westward spread of slavery, believing that adding free states to the Union would diminish the power of the Southern states and lead to the gradual disappearance of the "peculiar institution." Douglass was less patient. He had become a skilled orator and an influential editor of Northern abolitionist journals, and called on white Americans to honor their nation's founding commitment to liberty.

When the Civil War erupted in April 1861, Douglass hoped that the conflict would mean the end of slavery. But Lincoln delayed emancipation, and Douglass despaired—until he met the president face-to-face and recognized that their causes were one and the same. Featuring evocative and dramatic scenes of this seminal time, The Hammer and the Anvil will engage both Civil War buffs and young people new to the study of American history.


Praise for The Hammer and the Anvil

“Engaging and insightful . . . A compelling look at two of the most important figures in American history.” —Publishers Weekly

“An utterly ingenious graphic history of one of the most important stories in American history--the strikingly parallel lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln that eventually converged in friendship. Powerfully illustrated and written, The Hammer and the Anvil highlights for young readers, and anyone interested in graphic stories, the central debates of the Civil War era and of our own time: race, freedom, citizenship, state versus federal government, and the meaning of the American Dream.” —John Stauffer, author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

“A highly original, historically accurate, and utterly irresistible take on the lives and contributions of those two giants, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. This book raises the genre of ‘graphic history' to a new level. Dwight Jon Zimmerman and Wayne Vansant have produced a page-turner that will engage young readers, and no doubt delight their parents, too.” —Harold Holzer, Chairman, Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation

“An ingenious telling of the most important story in our nation's history through the lives of the two greatest Americans of the nineteenth century, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Students, teachers, and general readers--even those who think history is not for them--will find this an exciting, compelling read. A brilliant work!” —James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Hammer and the Anvil makes the extraordinary moment that brought Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln together accessible to young students. It's an eye-opener.” —Ira Berlin, author of The Making of African America

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Dwight Jon Zimmerman; Art by Wayne Vansant; Foreword by James M. McPherson

Dwight Jon Zimmerman is the coauthor with Bill O'Reilly of The New York Times bestseller Lincoln's Last Days. He is the author of The Vietnam War: A Graphic History and the co-executive producer of the Discovery Channel's miniseries First Command. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Wayne Vansant is the illustrator of The 'Nam and The Vietnam War: A Graphic History, among many other works. He lives in Mableton, Georgia.

James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of History, Emeritus, at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous award-winning books on the Civil War, including Battle Cry of Freedom, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

Dwight Jon Zimmerman

Wayne Vansant

From the Publisher

Hill and Wang

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