Prior to the end of the Civil War in 1865, many considered slavery vital to the economy of the United States, especially in the South. Most people in the North, though, came to reject slavery for moral or political reasons. Influential Northerners spearheaded the abolition movement. In this well-researched account, author Linda Jacobs Altman explores how abolitionists used words, money, violence, or simply courage, to fight to free the slaves. Tracing the history of slavery from its origins in America through its legal end with the Thirteenth Amendment, Altman shows how abolitionists—and slaves themselves—helped make the Civil War a fight not only to preserve the Union, but to make the nation free.