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.
Something to Consider
If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.