Born in 1777, Henry Clay grew up to be by some accounts the country’s greatest statesman. He served as a congressman, senator and secretary of state during the contentious years before the Civil War. Like many, his life was one of contradictions — he owned slaves but fought for abolition. And above all he worked to preserve the union.
The 2015 biography “Henry Clay: America’s Greatest Statesman” is out in paperback on Wednesday. Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson revisits a conversation with author and historian Harlow Giles Unger (@Harlowunger) from October 2015.