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The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror and the Death of Reconstruction

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  8 reviews
On Easter Sunday, 1873, in the tiny hamlet of Colfax, Louisiana, more than 150 members of an all-black Republican militia, defending the town's courthouse, were slain by an armed force of rampaging white supremacists. The most deadly incident of racial violence of the Reconstruction era, the Colfax Massacre unleashed a reign of terror that all but extinguished the campaign ...more
Hardcover, 219 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2007)
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An amazing job of having a really powerful thesis without actually defending it until the last few pages with any zeal. A shocking event in US history with well-described effects, but still the author could have opened the book up with some sort of explanatory piece on the event and its effects before going into 100 pages of background that - in the end - is important, but feels aimless. Glad I read it, and the scholarship is excellent.
An interesting and well analyzed topic that is weakened by some of the most pretentious prose I have ever read in a history book. Not only is this book therefore painful to read, but many of the author's ideas become confused because she is too concerned with sounding profound.
A fantastic telling of the Colfax Massacre and the events that lead to its occurrence. Keith's greatest ability is as a storyteller, weaving fact with seamless and engaging material. The book begins with Meredith Calhoun's slave driving, his son's retribution through abolition and suffrage, and the white supremacists and Democrats hell bent on using violence, coercion, and deception wrangle control of Louisiana's state government. The culmination at Colfax was once heralded as the end of Reconst ...more
Remington Krueger
What a disgusting topic. It's tough to accept the events depicted in the book could have ever been considered ok. The book's constant use of changing persons made it tough to follow (keep track of who was who) throughout the mid portion of the work ~pp.50-110~. However, the scholarship is excellent and the book as a whole presents a great account of the event.
Sandra D
The print was tiny, the writing somewhat dry, and the events described were at times complex and difficult to follow, but this story of a violent collision of race and politics seems especially timely during this election season -- when fear, anger, and heightened emotions sometimes threaten to spill beyond the edge of reason.
Jim Swike
Excellent book about tragic event during Reconstruction, good read for history student or fan.
Mark Cheathem
Could have used more analysis, but a good narrative treatment of the Colfax Massacre.
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