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The Hammer and the Anvil: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery in America Hardcover – July 17, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Engaging and insightful . . . A compelling look at two of the most important figures in American history.” —Publishers Weekly

“An utterly ingenious graphic history of one of the most important stories in American history—the strikingly parallel lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln that eventually converged in friendship. Powerfully illustrated and written, The Hammer and the Anvil highlights for young readers, and anyone interested in graphic stories, the central debates of the Civil War era and of our own time: race, freedom, citizenship, state versus federal government, and the meaning of the American Dream.” —John Stauffer, author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

“A highly original, historically accurate, and utterly irresistible take on the lives and contributions of those two giants, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. This book raises the genre of ‘graphic history’ to a new level. Dwight Jon Zimmerman and Wayne Vansant have produced a page-turner that will engage young readers, and no doubt delight their parents, too.”
—Harold Holzer, Chairman, Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation

“An ingenious telling of the most important story in our nation’s history through the lives of the two greatest Americans of the nineteenth century, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Students, teachers, and general readers—even those who think history is not for them—will find this an exciting, compelling read. A brilliant work!”
—James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Hammer and the Anvil makes the extraordinary moment that brought Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln together accessible to young students. It’s an eye-opener.”
—Ira Berlin, author of The Making of African America

About the Author

Dwight Jon Zimmerman is the coauthor with Bill O’Reilly of The New York Times bestseller Lincoln’s Last Days. He is the author of The Vietnam War: A Graphic History and the co-executive producer of the Discovery Channel’s miniseries First Command. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Wayne Vansant is the illustrator of The ’Nam and The Vietnam War: A Graphic History, among many other works. He lives in Mableton, Georgia.

James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of History, Emeritus, at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous award-winning books on the Civil War, including Battle Cry of Freedom, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; First Edition edition (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809053586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809053582
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DWIGHT JON ZIMMERMAN is a bestselling and award-winning author, radio show host, producer, and president of the Military Writers Society of America.

Zimmerman's latest book is AREA 51 THE GRAPHIC HISTORY OF AMERICA'S MOST SECRET MILITARY INSTALLATION. It gets behind the scenes and reveals the amazing story of one of America's most controversial secret military installations.

Zimmerman is the co-author, with Bill O'Reilly, of the New York Times #1 bestselling LINCOLN'S LAST DAYS, a young adult adaptation of Bill O'Reilly's bestselling KILLING LINCOLN. LINCOLN'S LAST DAYS won the 2013 Branson Stars and Flags Grand Prize, the second year in a row that Zimmerman received the organization's highest honor.

Zimmerman's book, SAGA OF THE SIOUX, a young adult adaptation of Dee Brown's classic history of the American West, has been acclaimed by critics as "a powerful work" (School Library Journal), "a masterful adaptation" (VOYA), "cogent, heartbreaking narration" BCCB, "history classes and others interested in this period will welcome this offering" (Booklist), and others. It received the 2012 Gold Medal in the Young Adult Non-Fiction category from the Military Writers Society of America and the 2012 Branson Stars and Flags Book Awards Grand Prize, the organization's highest honor.

Zimmerman has written a series of articles commemorating the 70th anniversary of World War II for Defense Media Network chronologically recounting events of that conflict. They offer a fascinating mix of history and human interest and can be read for free at Defense Media Network's website: www.defensemedianetwork.com.

Zimmerman is the co-author, with John D. Gresham of UNCOMMON VALOR: The Medal of Honor and the Six Warriors Who Earned It in Afghanistan and Iraq, which has received the Military Writers Society of America's most prestigious honor, the MWSA Founder's Award for 2010.

His first book, FIRST COMMAND: Paths to Leadership, which has a foreword by James M. McPherson, presents the pivotal challenges and events that occurred in the early careers of generals from George Washington to Colin Powell and how they overcame them. Zimmerman was the co-executive producer of the cable television miniseries based on his book. The miniseries debuted on the Military Channel in 2005 and has been regularly aired on the channel ever since. It won the 2005 Aurora Platinum Best of Show Award for Historical Programming. In 2009, the book received the Branson Stars and Flags Gold Medal Award in the Reference/Technical category. First Command is on the U.S. Army Chief of Infantry Recommended Reading List: Junior NCOs.

Zimmerman has written two acclaimed popular surveys of wars and weapons through the ages. THE BOOK OF WAR, about pivotal battles, leaders, and strategies from ancient to modern times, received the 2009 Gold Medal Award for Reference by the Military Writers Society of America. This was followed by THE BOOK OF WEAPONS, a critically acclaimed sequel about important weapons, weapon designers, and arms manufacturers and merchants throughout history.

Zimmerman is also the author of two graphic histories. THE VIETNAM WAR: A Graphic History, illustrated by Wayne Vansant, a ground-breaking book that for the first time recounted the entire Vietnam War in the graphic novel format. It received the 2010 Gold Medal Award: Artistic/Graphic from the Military Writers Society of America and the 2010 Branson Stars and Flags Gold Medal Award in the photography/graphics category. Military Review, the official journal of the U.S. Army, placed it on its recommended reading list. THE HAMMER AND THE ANVIL, also drawn by Wayne Vansant, is a critically-acclaimed dual biography of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Zimmerman's young adult biography, TECUMSEH: Shooting Star of the Shawnee, received the 2010 Bronze Medal Award: Young Adult Non-Fiction from the Military Writers Society of America.

Zimmerman is the co-author, with John D. Gresham, of the critically acclaimed history of seven pivotal special operations from the Vietnam War to present day, BEYOND HELL AND BACK.

Zimmerman has written numerous articles on military subjects for Faircount Media and other publishers. His article, "Maritime Mobility," for The Shield of Freedom, an annual publication about the Coast Guard, was selected by the Naval War College for use in its curriculum. And his article about a special operations mission during the Korean War led by the theater's surgeon general that had high-stakes diplomatic consequences, originally published in The Year in Special Operations 2009 was selected for re-publication by the Journal of Special Operations Medicine.

Zimmerman has been a guest lecturer at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Naval War College.

He was a producer for the independent film, Trooper, which received the Bronze Remi Award at the 2010 Houston International Film Festival.

Zimmerman was the host of the Veterans Radio program "At Ease" which interviewed historians about their latest books. Guests included bestselling authors Rick Atkinson, Robert Edsel, Larry Bond, Thomas Fleming, amongst others.

Zimmerman was the researcher for THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR, edited by Craig L. Symonds and Harold Holzer with a forward by former president Bill Clinton, and THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPLETE WORLD WAR II edited by Richard Overy with a forward by Tom Brokaw.

Zimmerman began his career in publishing at Marvel Comics, where he held a variety of editorial positions. Among his Marvel comic book writing credits are stories for Spider-Man, The X-Men, and The Hulk, and other superheroes. In 1992, Zimmerman became executive editor of Topps Comics and was responsible for the editorial and art direction of its lines of media tie-in comics including series based on The X-Files, Mars Attacks, Jurassic Park, Zorro, Xena: Warrior Princess and other titles. In addition, Zimmerman was the writer, editor, and art director of Princess Diana the graphic novel biography of Diana, Princess of Wales published by Topps.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 13 customer reviews
I just finished reading this book with a my class.
Sean Choudhary
Reading this book was better than reading any other book, and incase no one knew, this book is an actual novel.
Klearsi
I would recommend this to students and teachers alike, especially those who love history, as I do.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By caz on July 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I understand what the first reviewer says and yes it is sloppy but you need to go beyond the dust jacket to realize that this is a very engaging book. We are always trying to figure out how to engage the young with history and using a graphic novel is a great approach. The artist does an excellent job in capturing the topic and the text supports the art extremely well. We need to see more books like this to create another avenue for youth to understand our history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Latino on July 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Preserving a nation's past for future generations is imperative for any country. With an entire generation of American young people having been raised to learn and experience virtually everything through visual mediums, how clever to use graphic arts to adapt history.

For this nation's students to fully understand America, they simply must to have a firm understanding of the Civil War era and all of its facets. "The Hammer and the Anvil" covers a host of issues in a way that will draw in young people in compelling ways.

The foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson and James G. Basker's endorsement of the book as, " . . . A brilliant work!" trumps a book jacket error, albeit a sloppy one by the publisher. (For those who may not be aware, Mr Basker is President of the prestigious Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.)

It is both my pleasure and my honor to award "The Hammer and the Anvil" a five-star rating. It is well-deserved.

Bonnie Bartel Latino is a former columnist for Stars and Stripes newspaper in Europe. She also reviews for the Mobile (AL) Press-Register Sunday "Living Arts" books page.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jenilyn on July 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love history and especially Civil War history. This book made me love it even more. I didn't think there was much more I could learn about the Civil War. "The Hammer and the Anvil proved me wrong. Kudos to the author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard J. Arndt on August 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Hammer and the Anvil is a remarkably concise and considered examination of the work and dual relationships of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. This book both covers a significant event and IS in its own right a significant achievement in comics based history books. It comes the closest of any graphic attempt in years to the quality of Art Spiegelman's Maus. A reasoned text that still leaves no punches pulled by Zimmerman is well matched by the warm, 'homey' artwork of Vansant. Both men are to be applauded. I especially liked the sly use of coloring--most of the pages are monochrome with blue being used for Douglass' part of the story and brown being used for Lincoln's but during and after their initial meeting the pages become full color with ALL colors represented. A very subtle yet nice touch.

This is an important book, not only for the younger readers that are its target audience but for any discerning reader, period. I gladly recommend this book to any history buff or general reader. You won't regret reading it.

And while there is indeed the error on the dust jacket that angered the initial reviewer, that reviewer should keep in mind that the dust jacket copy is rarely (if ever) written by the author(s). It is usually the work of the publisher's production department.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Buck Stienke on August 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dwight Zimmerman and Wayne Vansant have teamed up to produce a masterful study of the two arguably most important players in political fight to eliminate slavery in America. Aimed toward the young adult audience, it captures the essence of the two men, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, from their lowly births all the way to the White House and Mr. Douglass' position as US Counsel General to Haiti. The scholarship and research invested in this book are clearly evident. The book provides the reader with a much greater appreciation for both historical figure as men. It clearly chronicles each's strengths and weaknesses and their innate grasp of politics. It also shows the process by which a determined man can help change the minds and attitudes of hundreds of thousands of others. I truly think young people will greatly benefit from reading this book. Vansant's illustration brings the characters to life and should help keep their interest in the story all the way to the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ken Farmer on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
No question about it, I was born too early. What a wonderful thing it would have been to have a book like "The Hammer and the Anvil" to study in Junior High or High school. Instead we got dry as popcorn American History books to study, or try to. Granted, we did have to read and be tested on names and dates, but what was left out were the motivations and backgrounds of the leading or at least more interesting characters of the day.
Kudos to Dwight Jon Zimmerman and artist Wayne Vansant for their collaboration on "The Hammer and the Anvil". It should be required reading in our education system or, heck, by anyone wanting to get a peek inside the minds of Lincoln and Douglass. Outstanding!
Ken Farmer - co-author of the Black Eagle Force series and "The Nations".
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By Nahdera Woods on July 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Hammer and The Anvil is 5 stars because of the detail of the stories of Douglass and Lincoln. For a graphic novel it was easy to read but also very informative, it gave me plenty of insight on what really happened to both men. This book enhanced my knowledge of the stories behind each man by informing me of things I did not know. Their lives had many similarities and also may differences; both of their talents of educating themselves led them to successful paths. Both Lincoln and Douglass had un-supportive fathers. Douglass was a slave so he was forbidden to read and Lincoln's father did not see the use of education, so both boys taught themselves to read and write. Lincoln seen the opportunity to run for president and abolitionist and did it, Douglass found the opportunity to run away and become abolitionist.The book increased my understanding by in detail explaining the struggles and the pathways and the beliefs of strong leaders. The civil war was cause by someone standing up for what they believed in, race relations were spoke upon because of someone standing up for what they believed in, the emancipation proclamation was written by a leader, a man who was an independent thinker and made decisions that affected the country as a whole positively. I am glad I read the book because it was a book I heard a lot about but never took the initiative to look into, so having it as an assignment was relieving. This reading was different than a traditional book because it is a graphic novel making it an easy to read book. Most people enjoy graphic novels because of the pictures that do not bore them.I would recommend this book to another first year college student because it is immensely informative and eye opening. The story is motivational, giving people hope or inspiring people to do more with life.Read more ›
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