Amazon.com description: Product Description
: From the distance of more than a hundred years, it is difficult to comprehend how the cruelty of slavery continued for so long. It took a devastating civil war to finally end it, bringing the U.S. to the brink of self-annihilation. The final blow against slavery was President Abraham Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation. Readers receive glimpses of the behind-the-scenes drama and agonizing political and moral calculations that went into what Lincoln called the central act of my administration, and the greatest event of the 19th century. The hopeful aftermath but long unfulfilled promise of the Proclamation is also examined in this fascinating account of the most pivotal moment in American history.