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The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America 1st Edition
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“Luminous…an exemplary contribution to the history of the Civil War and its aftermath.”
- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A superb, readable work of history.”
- Publishers Weekly, starred review
“[An] elegant book. With great skill, Edward Ayers weaves the stories of these Virginia and Pennsylvania counties together with events in the rest of the nation into a seamless whole that offers important new insights.”
- James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom
“A stellar feat of historical scholarship and storytelling. Ayers offers a masterful, engaging narrative that makes the second half of the war and its immediate aftermath seem vividly fresh.”
- David S. Reynolds, author of John Brown, Abolitionist
“Deftly crossing lines of race, party, and region, Edward Ayers embeds the Civil War and Reconstruction in social settings enriched by individual stories of freedom and slavery, suffering and loss, heroism and desperation. Eloquent, vivid, insightful, and powerful, The Thin Light of Freedom exposes racial and cultural fault lines of enduring relevance.”
- Alan Taylor, author of American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750–1804
“Edward Ayers masters a unique combination of detailed, granular, profoundly human social history with an extraordinary skill at narrative and a rare humility. This is the brilliant, long-awaited exclamation mark for the Valley of the Shadow.”
- David W. Blight, author of a forthcoming biography of Frederick Douglass
About the Author
Edward L. Ayers is the author of the Bancroft Prize–winning In the Presence of Mine Enemies and other works of history honored as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. A recipient of the National Humanities Medal from President Obama, Ayers is Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and president emeritus at the University of Richmond.
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