Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877

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Harper Collins, Feb 5, 2002 - History - 736 pages
8 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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User Review  - LarrySouders - LibraryThing

This writing shows the failure of the reconstruction period. The details of how the former slave owners regained their power in the development of the new South which wasn't much different than the old. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cblaker - LibraryThing

The essential book on the Reconstruction. Extensively well-researched, the only drawback is that maybe it has too many details and is a bit long. It's deeply unfortunate how the hopes of freedmen and women started so high and they were completely let down. Read full review


The World the War Made
Rehearsals for Reconstruction
The Meaning of Freedom
Ambiguities of Free Labor
The Failure of Presidential Reconstruction
The Making of Radical Reconstruction
Blueprints for a Republican South
Reconstruction Political and Economic
The Challenge of Enforcement
The Reconstruction of the North
The Politics of Depression
Redemption and After
The River Has Its Bend

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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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