Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877

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Harper Collins, Feb 5, 2002 - History - 736 pages
60 Reviews

This "masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history" (New Republic) made history when it was originally published in 1988. It redefined how Reconstruction was viewed by historians and people everywhere in its chronicling of how Americans -- black and white -- responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. This "smart book of enormous strengths" (Boston Globe) has since gone on to become the classic work on the wrenching post-Civil War period -- an era whose legacy reverberates still today in the United States.

  

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Review: Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877 (The New American Nation Series)

User Review  - Cathy - Goodreads

Really well written and full of stuff I didn't know. I just plain hate Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's successor. Warning: reading this book causes actual pain. People in this country have suffered too much, for the stupidest reasons. Read full review

Review: Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877 (The New American Nation Series)

User Review  - Mark Bowles - Goodreads

A. What is Reconstruction? The period when republicans controlled Southern politics, Blacks enjoyed extensive political power, and the federal government accepted responsibility for protecting the ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
xvii
The World the War Made
1
Rehearsals for Reconstruction
35
The Meaning of Freedom
77
Ambiguities of Free Labor
124
The Failure of Presidential Reconstruction
176
The Making of Radical Reconstruction
228
Blueprints for a Republican South
281
Reconstruction Political and Economic
346
The Challenge of Enforcement
412
The Reconstruction of the North
460
The Politics of Depression
512
Redemption and After
564
The River Has Its Bend
602
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 49 - I barely suggest for your private consideration, whether some of the colored people may not be let in — as, for instance, the very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks.
Page 94 - For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
Page 236 - If the South is ever to be made a safe republic let her lands be cultivated by the toil of the owners or the free labor of intelligent citizens.
Page 229 - Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970).
Page 80 - Jacqueline Jones, Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow. Black Women, Work, and the Family from Slavery to the Present (New York: Basic Books, 1985); Deborah Gray White, Ar'n't I a Woman?
Page 448 - Think of Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung, who do not know the difference between a monarchy and a republic, who can not read the Declaration of Independence or Webster's spelling-book, making laws for Lucretia Mott, Ernestine L. Rose, and Anna E. Dickinson.
Page 609 - The claim that there is nothing in the color of the skin from the point of view of political ethics is a great sophism. A black skin means membership in a race of men which has never of itself succeeded in subjecting passion to reason, has never, therefore, created any civilization of any kind.
Page 94 - And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
Page 74 - It is also unsatisfactory to some that the elective franchise is not given to the colored man. I would myself prefer that it were now conferred on the very intelligent, and on those who serve our cause as soldiers.

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About the author (2002)

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University, is the author of numerous works on American history, including Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War; Tom Paine and Revolutionary America; and The Story of American Freedom. He has served as president of both the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association, and has been named Scholar of the Year by the New York Council for the Humanities.

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