Congratulations to James Oakes, 2013 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize winner for Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. It was also pleased to see that the finalists included books by Yael Sternhell and Stephen Kantrowitz. Both finalists made my “Best of 2012“. All three are must reads.
Below is a very short video of Oakes offering his own understanding of the popular question of who freed the slaves. His answer offers a concise overview of the main argument in his book. I am going to include this video for my students to consider as they work through a collection of primary and secondary sources on emancipation.