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The Great Abolitionist book cover

Stephen Puleo with The Great Abolitionist: Charles Sumner and the Fight for a More Perfect Union

Author Event
May 9, 2024 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. ET

Gain new insight on our country in the mid-19th Century and the leadership provided by one of our forgotten civil rights heroes, Charles Sumner. Following an illustrated presentation about that fraught era and “Sumner’s transformation to uncompromising and unrelenting civil rights champion, orator, and senator,” Stephen Puleo invites the audience to join in a discussion about Sumner and his new biography, The Great Abolitionist, “required reading for anyone with even a slight interest in Civil War–era U.S. history” (Kirkus, starred review). 

The Great Abolitionist is the first major biography of Charles Sumner in over 50 years. Employing his “vast knowledge of 19th-century Boston and its diffident attitude toward slavery and integration,” Stephen Puleo calls his book a “biographical history” that brings to life two decades when the nation’s very fate hung in the balance -- when slavery consumed Congressional debate, America careened toward civil war, and the country dealt with the war, the assassination of a President, and the monumental task of Reconstruction. Before, during, and after the war, Charles Sumner’s voice rang strongest, bravest, and most unwavering, often at the cost of great personal sacrifice. He moved America toward the twin goals of abolitionism and equal rights for emancipated people, which he fought for literally until the day he died. From the award-winning author-historian we’ll gain a deeper understanding of this remarkable abolitionist and the time in which he lived. Special for this event: at the author’s request, select audience members will be brought on screen to ask comment and ask questions!  

Stephen Puleo

Stephen Puleo is a historian, teacher, public speaker, and the author of several books, including Voyage of Mercy, Dark Tide, American Treasures, and The Caning. A former award-winning newspaper reporter and contributor to American History magazine, the Boston Globe, and other publications, he holds a master's degree in history and has taught at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Suffolk University. He lives in the Boston area.

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