My review of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln by John Stauffer was published today at PopMatters.
I wasn’t blown away by this book. It falls short of justifying itself as a dual biography, seeming unbalanced between the intriguing and engaging sections on Douglass and the surprisingly tedious chapters on Lincoln. Aspects of Lincoln’s personal life are sketched in sharper detail than his political life. Nevertheless, there is quality material here, it just takes some sifting.
Were the book split into two separate narratives (or maybe were the two alternating stories in the book integrated a little better), it might make for more compelling, less herky-jerky reading.