The Great Abolitionist
Charles Sumner and the Fight for a More Perfect Union
Author: Stephen Puleo
The groundbreaking biography of a forgotten civil rights hero.
In the tempestuous mid-19th century, as slavery consumed Congressional debate and America careened toward civil war and split apart–when the very future of the nation hung in the balance–Charles Sumner’s voice rang strongest, bravest, and most unwavering. Where others preached compromise and moderation, he denounced slavery’s evils to all who would listen and demanded that it be wiped out of existence. More than any other person of his era, he blazed the trail on the country’s long, uneven, and ongoing journey toward realizing its full promise to become a more perfect union.
Before and during the Civil War, at great personal sacrifice, Sumner was the conscience of the North and the most influential politician fighting for abolition. Throughout Reconstruction, no one championed the rights of emancipated people more than he did. Through the force of his words and his will, he moved America toward the twin goals of abolitionism and equal rights, which he fought for literally until the day he died. He laid the cornerstone arguments that civil rights advocates would build upon over the next century as the country strove to achieve equality among the races.
The Great Abolitionist is the first major biography of Charles Sumner to be published in over 50 years. Acclaimed historian Stephen Puleo relates the story of one of the most influential non-presidents in American history with evocative and accessible prose, transporting readers back to an era when our leaders exhibited true courage and authenticity in the face of unprecedented challenges.
St. Martin's Press