Brennan's Reviews > Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877

Reconstruction by Eric Foner
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's review
Mar 04, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended for: US History lovers, sociologists, poli sci majors, political junkies

Anyone with an interest in American history will enjoy this; it's incredibly well researched (from letters, newspapers and origninal sources in state archives throughout the south that had apparently never been tapped for this degree of scholarship) and despite it's scope I found it to be a page turner. All the things that the Civil War didn't resolve - what Emancipation means, what is the role of non-whites in civil society, how will a society heal itself of a 250 year era of moral depravity, how are traitors brought back into the civic fabric of the nation - weren't really resolved in the time talked about, either. It was fascinating to read this as Senator Obama has been pursuing the Dem nomination; gives great perspective. There was so much potential and so little yield; it's a frustrating read but it gives great insight to an understudied (at least in my experience) era, and it gives deserved space to the free and freed African descendants who staked their claim to the life of this country. Far from being spectators, as has long been thought, taught, and implied, Blacks were at the forefront of the redesign of the post-war south. Fascinating stuff.
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