Throughout the Civil War era, no other white American spoke more powerfully against slavery and for the ideals of racial democracy than did Wendell Phillips. Nationally famous as “abolition’s golden trumpet,” Phillips became the North’s most widely hailed public lecturer, even though he espoused ideas most regarded as deeply threatening—the abolition of slavery, equality among races and classes, and women's rights. James Brewer Stewart’s study resolves this seeming paradox by showing how Phillips came to possess such extraordinary rhetorical gifts, how he used them to shape the politics of his times, and how he rooted them in his upbringing, marriage, and personal relationships.
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