Historical Dictionary of Reconstruction

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Greenwood Press, 1991 - History - 284 pages
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This new reference book reflects the latest scholarship regarding the Reconstruction of the American South following the Civil War. In the past four decades, the guidelines set forth by William D. Dunning and his students, which portrayed the period as a time of horror for suffering Southerners over whom radicals, scalawags, and carpetbaggers rode roughshod, has been amended. Since World War II, the appearance of revised versions of the period, as well as favorable biographies of such major figures as Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens, Benjamin F. Wade, Edwin M. Stanton, and George W. Julian, have transformed the historiography of Reconstruction. While many unresolved issues still remain, the field has benefited greatly from this reassessment. Hence, this outstanding single-volume reference, containing the most recent thinking on the period, will be of great help to scholars and the general public. No other reference focusing exclusively on Reconstruction exists. The dictionary stresses race relations, emancipation, the main participants in the struggle, and the restoration of the Southern states into the Union. Those states involved in some way or other in the process, including the border commonwealths, will be found here, as are the major Supreme Court decisions handed down during Reconstruction. Readable articles at each entry convey the principle information in an economical style and are followed in each case by a listing of the latest available literature, principally monographs and books rather than articles, in order to facilitate further research. Covering a time period from 1862 to 1896, the dictionary focuses on matters pertaining to the integration of freedmen and the restoration of the states. The preface and chronology of events preceed the conveniently organized dictionary section, which contains entries whose lengths vary depending on the relative importance of the concept or personality treated. Generally, the importance of individuals in reference to Reconstruction, rather than their general significance, has determined their inclusion. Each entry is followed by its own bibliography. The volume closes with a select bibliography and index. This outstanding reference belongs in every college and university library as well as in public libraries, and is eminently suitable for courses dealing with the Civil War and Reconstruction and for Civil War Roundtables. Civil War buffs and historians interested in nineteenth-century America will refer to it again and again.

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Historical dictionary of reconstruction

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This reference book by well-known Reconstruction expert Trefousse will be of great use to scholars and general readers. Pithy, readable articles, spanning the years 1862-96, reflect current ... Read full review

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About the author (1991)

HANS L. TREFOUSSE is Distinguished Professor of History at Brooklyn College and Graduate Center at CUNY.

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