Was President Abraham Lincoln a natural abolitionist? Slavery ended during the 16th president’s watch, but what were Lincoln’s opinions and policies about institutional slavery throughout his life? Our guest, ERIC FONER, the DeWitt Clinton professor of history at Columbia University and author of many books on the Civil War period, has completed his latest research called, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. Foner focuses on Lincoln’s evolution of his view of slavery though a life of contradictions and external pressures of a culture steeped in the slave economy. Some of Eric Foner’s most recent books include Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction (2005) and Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World (2008).