BIG ENOUGH TO BE INCONSISTENT and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.00
  • Save: $2.10 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Details
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Former library book with usual stamps and stickers. Moderate wear to cover and edges.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Big Enough to Be Inconsistent: Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures) Hardcover – March 29, 2008


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.90
$12.50 $0.33


Frequently Bought Together

Big Enough to Be Inconsistent: Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures) + Lincoln, Inc.: Selling the Sixteenth President in Contemporary America + Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World
Price for all three: $49.98

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Series: The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674027744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674027749
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,080,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Based on his W.E.B. Du Bois lectures at Harvard, Stanford professor emeritus Fredrickson (Arrogance of Race) wades into a controversial arena: was Lincoln a heroic emancipator or a racist who didn't care about slaves at all? Stating that in between pathological racism and egalitarianism lies a spectrum of possibilities, Fredrickson says that Lincoln is not easily classified. After opening with a quick, useful survey of the relevant historiography, Fredrickson addresses Lincoln's thoughts about issues ranging from white supremacy to colonization and black military service. One question that looms large for Fredrickson is whether Lincoln meant the most racist comments he made during the 1850s. He hated slavery yet clearly... could not readily envision a society in which blacks and whites could live in harmony as... equals. Fredrickson suggests that Lincoln's public statements may have reflected both his real thoughts and the savvy political sensibility of an ambitious man who knew he couldn't get elected without invoking white supremacist shibboleths; furthermore, Lincoln's thoughts about blacks—especially about their capacity for citizenship—may have changed during the Civil War. This brief book will be widely discussed by historians and will provide nonacademic readers a lucid introduction to some of the most heated debates about the 16th president. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The debate over the fourteenth president’s true attitude toward slavery and racial equality is apparently endless, but in this cogent appraisal of the subject, Stanford historian Fredrickson interestingly summarizes, in the title of his book, both the problem and the right conclusion. That Lincoln was sometimes uncertain or confused about what he should do or think about slavery and race simply indicates he was big enough to be inconsistent. Fredrickson reviews the literature on the subject, as well as Lincoln’s spoken and written words from the time of his political apprenticeship in Springfield, Illinois, to the weeks before his assassination; he seeks to avoid concluding that Lincoln was either an abolitionist or a racist, bringing into his discussion the importance of avoiding rigid thinking and remaining flexible in approaching Lincoln and this complicated issue. This not-swiftly-read summation of perhaps the most controversial aspect of Lincoln’s character and presidency is nevertheless a serious, effective contribution not only to the complete picture of the man but also to civil rights history in this country. --Brad Hooper

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on February 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Of the writing of books on Lincoln, there is, apparently, no end. Americans' fascination for the man seems to increase rather than diminish. But this fascination is rarely uninterested. Authors (and readers) on Lincoln tend to be hagiographers or debunkers, intent either on canonizing or damning him. As a consequence, it's frequently difficult to discover the real man underneath the legend.

In his Big Enough to Be Inconsistent, veteran Civil War scholar George Frederickson defends an interpretation of Lincoln's views on slavery and race that seeks a "middle ground" between the hagiographers who see the president as a proto-civil liberties advocate and the debunkers who see him as a hypocritical racist. Frederickson argues that Lincoln's views on both the institution of slavery and racial inequality changed over time, and that their fluidity suggests a position that's much more complex and ambiguous than hagiographers and debunkers allow. Like most of us, Lincoln's position on race wasn't entirely consistent. Moreover, Lincoln's ambivalence is complicated by the fact that he was a politician, and sometimes said things for public consumption that were more expedient than genuinely believed.

One thing is certain. Lincoln was never ambivalent in his moral opposition to slavery. But the racist assumptions he absorbed from his virulently Negrophobic home state of Illinois clustered to form views in the pre-war Lincoln that Frederickson doesn't hesitate to characterize as white supremicist, albeit a "relatively passive or reactive" sort (p. 84). Lincoln advocated a minimalist bestowal of free trade rights on blacks, but balked at defending full civil and moral equality.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barrie W. Bracken on July 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
there is only one thing to say. He was big enough to be inconsistent. He was not going to be caught up in hobgoblins of little minds, apologies to RWE. It seems timely that we should consider this issue in our presidents when we are besieged by frightful scenarios of a president who might change his mind. How wonderful if we could have politicians who, regardless of what common sense, intelligence, and changing circumstances might indicate, hold true to their original engraved in stone views of the revealed truth. Perhaps reading and digesting this little book can put some of our fears to rest.

Unless you are a fan of George Fredrickson, an avid student of Lincoln's thoughts, and interested in projecting a true picture of 19th century America--I am guilty of all counts--you may hesitate to purchase this 126 page (text pages only) large print and small page book even for the fair price Amazon lists. Be assure, this book is valuable enough to make it worth more than the publisher's price. When we are faced with a barrage of anti-Lincoln literature compensated for by an equal barrage of myth making of our sixteenth president, an open, well researched, thoughtful book that does neither is of real value. Particularly now. The political threat to Lincoln's presidency was not whether he favored free choice on abortion, but something a bit more urgent to living individuals and those to be born--should slavery cease to exist through the mandate of government. Had Lincoln been faced with Roe v Wade he, like any other thinking person, probably would change his mind a few times before settling on a "final" stand.
Read more ›
8 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gary E. Jenkins on March 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Big Enough to Be Inconsistent: Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race (The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures) This is a well written book looking at the aspects that influenced Lincoln in his life and how they affected his stand on slavery and race. You get a look at not only how he felt personally but also how his love of the U.S. Constitution led to how he made many of his decisions regarding slavery.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking for a book that would give me the facts, as best they can be determined, about Lincoln's views and attitudes on slavery and race, without bias either way. This book met that criteria for me. The evidence of Lincoln's views and attitudes is presented to the reader in an objective way, and then you as the reader are allowed to make up your own mind as to whether you would call Lincoln a "racist" as some people do. I think it's a great book and a must read for any Lincoln fan who truly wants to get beyond the Lincoln myth and understand the man in the context of his own time.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?