Reconstruction Updated Edition

America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-18

    • 4.5 • 11 Ratings
    • $17.99
    • $17.99

Publisher Description

From the "preeminent historian of Reconstruction" (New York Times Book Review), the prize-winning classic work on the post-Civil War period that shaped modern America.

Eric Foner's "masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history" (New Republic) redefined how the post-Civil War period was viewed.

Reconstruction chronicles the way in which Americans—black and white—responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. It addresses the ways in which the emancipated slaves' quest for economic autonomy and equal citizenship shaped the political agenda of Reconstruction; the remodeling of Southern society and the place of planters, merchants, and small farmers within it; the evolution of racial attitudes and patterns of race relations; and the emergence of a national state possessing vastly expanded authority and committed, for a time, to the principle of equal rights for all Americans.

This "smart book of enormous strengths" (Boston Globe) remains the standard work on the wrenching post-Civil War period—an era whose legacy still reverberates in the United States today.

GENRE
History
RELEASED
2014
December 2
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
752
Pages
PUBLISHER
Harper Perennial Modern Classics
SELLER
HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS
SIZE
7.9
MB

Customer Reviews

Sal Paisley ,

Essential and formidable though imperfect

This could probably be shortlisted as essential reading in American history, though it’s not perfect. For one, it’s not necessarily good coherent history: Foner kind of stitches together disparate topics and is also kind of discursive in his presentation. He also kind of fills in the cracks or the blanks with a tacit socialist or Marxist ideology (which this reviewer does not necessarily view as a problem), but this Marxist narrative impulse leads to digressions such as the chapter “Ambiguities of Free Labor,” which takes momentum established by the first three chapters, which are much stronger. I think it also leads him to de-emphasize the evangelical, Enlightenment, and classical liberal origins of the abolitionist movement and also, throughout the book, marginalize the impact of black church institutions. However, it’s ultimately extremely rigorous and thoroughly researched. It’s not going to blow over anytime soon, even though I think he goes too far, verging on iconoclasm, to the point of derogating the American South outright. I think it’s been over thirty years since he published this, and it still endures and will probably continue to do so. I would think the abridged version of this book would be a better experience, especially on an “e-reader,” than this tome.

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