Historian Bruce Levine sets out to tell the story of the “zigs and zags” in the career path of 19th-century Pennsylvania congressman and civil-rights advocate Thaddeus Stevens; along the way he shows how our political system managed to advance human freedom. Levine deftly weaves political, social, and intellectual history into eleven brief chapters on the life of a politician who was at the cutting edge of arguments over slavery and equality.
This article appears as “A Radical Achievement” in the July 1, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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