The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America's Most Progressive Era

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9781608195732: The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America's Most Progressive Era

By 1870, just five years after Confederate surrender and thirteen years after the Dred Scott decision ruled blacks ineligible for citizenship, Congressional action had ended slavery and given the vote to black men. That same year, Hiram Revels and Joseph Hayne Rainey became the first African-American U.S. senator and congressman respectively. In South Carolina, only twenty years after the death of arch-secessionist John C. Calhoun, a black man, Jasper J. Wright, took a seat on the state's Supreme Court. Not even the most optimistic abolitionists had thought such milestones would occur in their lifetimes. The brief years of Reconstruction marked the United States' most progressive moment prior to the civil rights movement.

Previous histories of Reconstruction have focused on Washington politics. But in this sweeping, prodigiously researched narrative, Douglas Egerton brings a much bigger, even more dramatic story into view, exploring state and local politics and tracing the struggles of some fifteen hundred African-American officeholders, in both the North and South, who fought entrenched white resistance. Tragically, their movement was met by ruthless violence--not just riotous mobs, but also targeted assassination. With stark evidence, Egerton shows that Reconstruction, often cast as a "failure" or a doomed experiment, was rolled back by murderous force. The Wars of Reconstruction is a major and provocative contribution to American history.

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About the Author :

Douglas R. Egerton is a professor of history at LeMoyne College. He is the author of six books, including Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the Election that Brought on the Civil War, He Shall Go Out Free: The Lives of Denmark Vesey, Gabriel's Rebellion: The Virginia Slave Conspiracies of 1800 and 1802, and Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America. He lives near Syracuse, New York.

Review :

“The history of [the] era [of Reconstruction] has rarely if ever been as well told as it is in Douglas R. Egerton's forcefully argued and crisply written The Wars of Reconstruction.” ―Wall Street Journal

“Key figures develop into rich characters, balancing Egerton's own objective, wide-seeing perspective, which even explores the revisionist Reconstruction histories that informed the American consciousness, particularly the pernicious effects of influential racist cinema. All told, Egerton's study is an adept exploration of a past era of monumental relevance to the present and is recommended for any student of political conflict, social upheaval, and the perennial struggle against oppression.” ―Publishers Weekly

“[A] fierce corrective . . . Egerton's book is thorough and cogent in recreating the stories of these fearless, articulate and conscientious black activists and politicians . . .” ―Bookforum

“A richly detailed history . . . An illuminating view of an era whose reform spirit would live on in the 1960s civil rights movement.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Understanding issues that continue to roil American politics--the definition of citizenship, the meaning of equality, the relative powers of the national and state governments--requires knowledge of Reconstruction. For this reason alone, the appearance of Douglas R. Egerton's The Wars of Reconstruction is especially welcome . . . its dramatic account will challenge and enlighten . . . Egerton paints a dramatic portrait of on-the-ground struggles for equality in an era of great hope and brutal disappointment.” ―Eric Foner, New York Times Book Review

"The Wars of Reconstruction is one of the best and most readable studies of that era to appear in many years. Its emphasis on the active role that African Americans played in this crucial period is especially welcome. Douglas Egerton has given us another gripping, thoughtful, and deeply researched book about slavery and the fight for freedom." ―Bruce Levin, author of The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed The South

“Offers a fresh perspective on why the grand experiment of Reconstruction failed and how it took nearly a century afterward for African Americans to gain any semblance of equal rights in the South.” ―Bookpage

“This is a very 'Du Boisian' work, sharing the great scholar's view that Reconstruction wasn't just about rebuilding the Southern economy, but reconstructing democracy throughout the US. Recounting Northern blacks' struggles for voting rights and the national quest for universal public education bolsters Du Bois's insight, as do sections assessing Reconstruction in scholarly and popular memory. Through detailed evaluations of officeholders and other activists, Egerton asserts that Reconstruction was the most progressive era in US history. Proponents of the 1960s and, especially, the New Deal may differ, but Egerton's strong case stimulates debate. Summing Up: Recommended.” ―CHOICE

“[Egerton's] crisp, immersive history follows an army of black activists, politicians, ex-slaves, educators, clergy, veterans and their white allies who hoped to remake the devastated South.” ―The Atlantic, Best Books of 2014

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Description du livre Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2015. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. By 1870, just five years after Confederate surrender and thirteen years after the Dred Scott decision ruled blacks ineligible for citizenship, Congressional action had ended slavery and given the vote to black men. That same year, Hiram Revels and Joseph Hayne Rainey became the first African-American U.S. senator and congressman respectively. In South Carolina, only twenty years after the death of arch-secessionist John C. Calhoun, a black man, Jasper J. Wright, took a seat on the state s Supreme Court. Not even the most optimistic abolitionists had thought such milestones would occur in their lifetimes. The brief years of Reconstruction marked the United States most progressive moment prior to the civil rights movement. Previous histories of Reconstruction have focused on Washington politics. But in this sweeping, prodigiously researched narrative, Douglas Egerton brings a much bigger, even more dramatic story into view, exploring state and local politics and tracing the struggles of some fifteen hundred African-American officeholders, in both the North and South, who fought entrenched white resistance. Tragically, their movement was met by ruthless violence--not just riotous mobs, but also targeted assassination. With stark evidence, Egerton shows that Reconstruction, often cast as a failure or a doomed experiment, was rolled back by murderous force. The Wars of Reconstruction is a major and provocative contribution to American history. N° de réf. du libraire AA79781608195732

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Description du livre Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2015. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. By 1870, just five years after Confederate surrender and thirteen years after the Dred Scott decision ruled blacks ineligible for citizenship, Congressional action had ended slavery and given the vote to black men. That same year, Hiram Revels and Joseph Hayne Rainey became the first African-American U.S. senator and congressman respectively. In South Carolina, only twenty years after the death of arch-secessionist John C. Calhoun, a black man, Jasper J. Wright, took a seat on the state s Supreme Court. Not even the most optimistic abolitionists had thought such milestones would occur in their lifetimes. The brief years of Reconstruction marked the United States most progressive moment prior to the civil rights movement. Previous histories of Reconstruction have focused on Washington politics. But in this sweeping, prodigiously researched narrative, Douglas Egerton brings a much bigger, even more dramatic story into view, exploring state and local politics and tracing the struggles of some fifteen hundred African-American officeholders, in both the North and South, who fought entrenched white resistance. Tragically, their movement was met by ruthless violence--not just riotous mobs, but also targeted assassination. With stark evidence, Egerton shows that Reconstruction, often cast as a failure or a doomed experiment, was rolled back by murderous force. The Wars of Reconstruction is a major and provocative contribution to American history. N° de réf. du libraire AA79781608195732

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