West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War

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Yale University Press, Mar 28, 2007 - History - 416 pages
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“This thoughtful, engaging examination of the Reconstruction Era . . . will be appealing . . . to anyone interested in the roots of present-day American politics” (Publishers Weekly).
The story of Reconstruction is not simply about the rebuilding of the South after the Civil War. In many ways, the late nineteenth century defined modern America, as Southerners, Northerners, and Westerners forged a national identity that united three very different regions into a country that could become a world power.
A sweeping history of the United States from the era of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, this engaging book tracks the formation of the American middle class while stretching the boundaries of our understanding of Reconstruction. Historian Heather Cox Richardson ties the North and West into the post–Civil War story that usually focuses narrowly on the South.
By weaving together the experiences of real individuals who left records in their own words—from ordinary Americans such as a plantation mistress, a Native American warrior, and a labor organizer, to prominent historical figures such as Andrew Carnegie, Julia Ward Howe, Booker T. Washington, and Sitting Bull—Richardson tells a story about the creation of modern America.

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User Review  - greeniezona - LibraryThing

So early in the pandemic I was looking for something to give some structure to my days, and something to talk to my parents about other than pandemic stress, and I missed our Civil War reading group ... Read full review

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User Review  - snash - LibraryThing

The author describes the political developments of Victorian America developing the thesis that the political concepts and conflicts of today were formed then. On the one hand were the individualists ... Read full review


The View from the Civil War
The Future of Free Labor
Conflicting Visions
A New Middle Ground
Years of Unrest
Years of Consolidation
The Struggle Renewed
The Final Contest

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About the author (2007)

Heather Cox Richardson is professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post–Civil War North. She lives in Winchester, Massachusetts.

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