While both men espoused emancipation for American slaves, here their agreements ended. Lincoln thought that the free labor society of the American North provided great opportunities for free men missing from the American South, a kind of "farm ladder" that gave every man the ability to become a landowner. Marx thought such "free land" a chimera and (with information from German-American correspondents), was certain that the American future lay in the proletarianized cities.
Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx in Dialogue intersperses short selections from the two writers from their voluminous works, opening with an introduction that puts the ideas of the two men in the broad context of nineteenth-century thought and politics. The volume excerpts Lincoln's and Marx's views on slavery (they both opposed it for different reasons), the Civil War (Marx claimed the war concerned slavery and should have as its goal abolition; Lincoln insisted that his goal was just the defeat of the Confederacy), and the opportunities American free men had to gain land and economic independence.
Through this volume, readers will gain a firmer understanding of nineteenth-century labor relations throughout the Atlantic world: slavery and free labor; the interconnections between slave-made cotton and the exploitation of English proletarians; and the global impact of the American Civil War.