We are pleased to announce that Making an Antislavery Nation: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Battle over Freedom by Graham A. Peck has won the Russell P. Strange Memorial Book Award from the Illinois State Historical Society for the book of the year in Illinois history. The Russell P. Strange Award was established by Darrell and Priscilla Strange Matthews in memory of Priscilla’s father, noted scholar, educator, past vice president and life-long member of the Illinois State Historical Society. The award is presented annually to one author in recognition of his/her significant contribution to the study of Illinois history. The award was announced at the ISHS annual meeting on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield. Congratulations Graham!
In Making an Antislavery Nation, Graham A. Peck meticulously traces the conflict over slavery in Illinois from the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 to Lincoln’s defeat of his arch rival Stephen A. Douglas in the 1860 election. Douglas’s attempt in 1854 to persuade Northerners that slavery and freedom had equal national standing stirred a political earthquake that brought Lincoln to the White House. Yet Lincoln’s framing of the antislavery movement as a conservative return to the country’s founding principles masked what was in fact a radical and unprecedented antislavery nationalism. It justified slavery’s destruction but triggered the Civil War.
Presenting pathbreaking interpretations of Lincoln, Douglas, and the Civil War’s origins, Making an Antislavery Nation shows how battles over slavery paved the way for freedom’s triumph in America.
We’re so proud to have published this groundbreaking work of scholarship!
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