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In Reconstruction Award-winning writer and musician Johnson digs into the lives of those trodden underfoot by the powers that be: from the lives of vampires and those caught in their circle in Hawai’i to a taxonomy of anger put together by Union soldiers in the American Civil War, these stories will grab you and not let you go.
In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, the North assumed significant power to redefine the South, imagining a region rebuilt and modeled on northern society. The white South actively resisted these efforts, battling the legal strictures of Reconstruction on the ground. Meanwhile, white southern storytellers worked to recast the South's image, romanticizing the Lost Cause and heralding the birth of a New South. Prince argues that this cultural production was as important as political competition and economic striving in turning the South and the nation away from the egalitarian promises of Reconstruction and toward Jim Crow.
From one of our most distinguished historians, a new examination of the vitally important years of Emancipation and Reconstruction during and immediately following the Civil War–a necessary reconsideration that emphasizes the era’s political and cultural meaning for today’s America. In Forever Free, Eric Foner overturns numerous assumptions growing out of the traditional understanding of the period, which is based almost exclusively on white sources and shaped by (often unconscious) racism. He presents the period as a time of determination, especially on the part of recently emancipated black Americans, to put into effect the principles of equal rights and citizenship for all. Drawing on a wide range of long-neglected documents, he places a new emphasis on the centrality of the black experience to an understanding of the era. We see African Americans as active agents in overthrowing slavery, in helping win the Civil War, and–even more actively–in shaping Reconstruction and creating a legacy long obscured and misunderstood. Foner makes clear how, by war’s end, freed slaves in the South built on networks of church and family in order to exercise their right of suffrage as well as gain access to education, land, and employment. He shows us that the birth of the Ku Klux Klan and renewed acts of racial violence were retaliation for the progress made by blacks soon after the war. He refutes lingering misconceptions about Reconstruction, including the attribution of its ills to corrupt African American politicians and “carpetbaggers,” and connects it to the movements for civil rights and racial justice. Joshua Brown’s illustrated commentary on the era’s graphic art and photographs complements the narrative. He offers a unique portrait of how Americans envisioned their world and time. Forever Free is an essential contribution to our understanding of the events that fundamentally reshaped American life after the Civil War–a persuasive reading of history that transforms our sense of the era from a time of failure and despair to a threshold of hope and achievement.
Book The Story of Reconstruction Description/Summary:
An presentation of the period of Reconstruction following the American Civil War, with accounts and analysis of the political activity on the state and federal levels, economic policy and economic realities, and the hopes of blacks for freedom and equality, including the questions and bitter legacy from that time.
Book The Wars of Reconstruction Description/Summary:
A groundbreaking new history, telling the stories of hundreds of African-American activists and officeholders who risked their lives for equality-in the face of murderous violence-in the years after the Civil War. 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 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.
“Stony the Road presents a bracing alternative to Trump-era white nationalism. . . . In our current politics we recognize African-American history—the spot under our country’s rug where the terrorism and injustices of white supremacy are habitually swept. Stony the Road lifts the rug." —Nell Irvin Painter, New York Times Book Review A profound new rendering of the struggle by African-Americans for equality after the Civil War and the violent counter-revolution that resubjugated them, by the bestselling author of The Black Church. The abolition of slavery in the aftermath of the Civil War is a familiar story, as is the civil rights revolution that transformed the nation after World War II. But the century in between remains a mystery: if emancipation sparked "a new birth of freedom" in Lincoln's America, why was it necessary to march in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s America? In this new book, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of our leading chroniclers of the African-American experience, seeks to answer that question in a history that moves from the Reconstruction Era to the "nadir" of the African-American experience under Jim Crow, through to World War I and the Harlem Renaissance. Through his close reading of the visual culture of this tragic era, Gates reveals the many faces of Jim Crow and how, together, they reinforced a stark color line between white and black Americans. Bringing a lifetime of wisdom to bear as a scholar, filmmaker, and public intellectual, Gates uncovers the roots of structural racism in our own time, while showing how African Americans after slavery combatted it by articulating a vision of a "New Negro" to force the nation to recognize their humanity and unique contributions to America as it hurtled toward the modern age. The story Gates tells begins with great hope, with the Emancipation Proclamation, Union victory, and the liberation of nearly 4 million enslaved African-Americans. Until 1877, the federal government, goaded by the activism of Frederick Douglass and many others, tried at various turns to sustain their new rights. But the terror unleashed by white paramilitary groups in the former Confederacy, combined with deteriorating economic conditions and a loss of Northern will, restored "home rule" to the South. The retreat from Reconstruction was followed by one of the most violent periods in our history, with thousands of black people murdered or lynched and many more afflicted by the degrading impositions of Jim Crow segregation. An essential tour through one of America's fundamental historical tragedies, Stony the Road is also a story of heroic resistance, as figures such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells fought to create a counter-narrative, and culture, inside the lion's mouth. As sobering as this tale is, it also has within it the inspiration that comes with encountering the hopes our ancestors advanced against the longest odds.
Book Reconstruction in Philosophy Description/Summary:
DIVWritten shortly after the shattering effects of World War I, this volume initiated the author's experimental concept of pragmatic humanism. This revised, enlarged edition features Dewey's informative introduction. /div
Book The First Reconstruction Description/Summary:
It may be difficult to imagine that a consequential back electoral politics evolved in the United States before the Civil War, for as of 1860, the overwhelming majority of African Americans remained in bondage. Yet free black men, many of them escaped slaves, steadily increased their influence in electoral politics over the course of the early American republic. Despite efforts to disfranchise them, black men voted across much of the North, sometimes in numbers sufficient to swing elections. In this meticulously-researched book, Van Gosse offers a sweeping reappraisal of the formative era of American democracy from the Constitution's ratification through Abraham Lincoln's election, chronicling the rise of an organized, visible black politics focused on the quest for citizenship, the vote, and power within the free states. Full of untold stories and thorough examinations of political battles, this book traces a First Reconstruction of black political activism following emancipation in the North. From Portland, Maine and New Bedford, Massachusetts to Brooklyn and Cleveland, black men operated as voting blocs, denouncing the notion that skin color could define citizenship.
Book Rehearsal for Reconstruction Description/Summary:
Just seven months into the Civil War, a Union fleet sailed into South Carolina’s Port Royal Sound, landed a ground force, and then made its way upriver to Beaufort. Planters and farmers fled before their attackers, allowing virtually all their major possessions, including ten thousand slaves, to fall into Union hands. Rehearsal for Reconstruction, winner of the Allan Nevins Prize, the Francis Parkman Prize, and the Charles S. Sydnor Prize, is historian Willie Lee Rose’s chronicle of change in this Sea Island region from its capture in 1861 through Reconstruction. With epic sweep, Rose demonstrates how Port Royal constituted a stage upon which a dress rehearsal for the South’s postwar era was acted out.
In The Accident of Color, Daniel Brook journeys to nineteenth-century New Orleans and Charleston, where free biracial people exercised many rights of citizenship and fought to secure them for all after the Civil War. In coalition with the formerly enslaved and allies at the fringes of whiteness, they notched significant victories--like desegregating streetcars and schools--and launched an audacious legal strategy to defeat racism by challenging race itself. Tragically, all was swept away by a violent political backlash, culminating in the Jim Crow laws that would legalize segregation and usher in a binary racial regime that endures to this day. By revisiting a turning point in the evolution of America's racial system, this "poignant and powerful book" (Library Journal) brings to life a moment from our distant past that illuminates the origins of the racial lies we live by.
“Juju assassins, alternate history, a gritty New York crime story...in a word: awesome.” —N.K. Jemisin, New York Times bestselling author of The Fifth Season The dangerous magic of The Night Circus meets the powerful historical exploration of The Underground Railroad in Alaya Dawn Johnson's timely and unsettling novel, set against the darkly glamorous backdrop of New York City, where an assassin falls in love and tries to change her fate at the dawn of World War II. Amid the whir of city life, a young woman from Harlem is drawn into the glittering underworld of Manhattan, where she’s hired to use her knives to strike fear among its most dangerous denizens. Ten years later, Phyllis LeBlanc has given up everything—not just her own past, and Dev, the man she loved, but even her own dreams. Still, the ghosts from her past are always by her side—and history has appeared on her doorstep to threaten the people she keeps in her heart. And so Phyllis will have to make a harrowing choice, before it’s too late—is there ever enough blood in the world to wash clean generations of injustice? Trouble the Saints is a dazzling, daring novel—a magical love story, a compelling exposure of racial fault lines—and an altogether brilliant and deeply American saga. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Book Educational Reconstruction Description/Summary:
Tracing the first two decades of state-funded African American schools, Educational Reconstruction addresses the ways in which black Richmonders, black Mobilians, and their white allies created, developed, and sustained a system of African American schools following the Civil War. Hilary Green proposes a new chronology in understanding postwar African American education, examining how urban African Americans demanded quality public schools from their new city and state partners. Revealing the significant gains made after the departure of the Freedmen’s Bureau, this study reevaluates African American higher education in terms of developing a cadre of public school educator-activists and highlights the centrality of urban African American protest in shaping educational decisions and policies in their respective cities and states.
Book What Reconstruction Meant Description/Summary:
Drawing on a tremendous range of newspapers, memoirs, correspondence, and published materials, the author examines what both white and black South Carolinians thought about the history of Reconstruction and how it shaped the way they lived their lives in the first half of the twentieth century.
Bondspeople who fled from slavery during and after the Civil War did not expect that their flight toward freedom would lead to sickness, disease, suffering, and death. But the war produced the largest biological crisis of the nineteenth century, and as historian Jim Downs reveals in this groundbreaking volume, it had deadly consequences for hundreds of thousands of freed people. In Sick from Freedom, Downs recovers the untold story of one of the bitterest ironies in American history--that the emancipation of the slaves, seen as one of the great turning points in U.S. history, had devastating consequences for innumerable freed people. Drawing on massive new research into the records of the Medical Division of the Freedmen's Bureau-a nascent national health system that cared for more than one million freed slaves-he shows how the collapse of the plantation economy released a plague of lethal diseases. With emancipation, African Americans seized the chance to move, migrating as never before. But in their journey to freedom, they also encountered yellow fever, smallpox, cholera, dysentery, malnutrition, and exposure. To address this crisis, the Medical Division hired more than 120 physicians, establishing some forty underfinanced and understaffed hospitals scattered throughout the South, largely in response to medical emergencies. Downs shows that the goal of the Medical Division was to promote a healthy workforce, an aim which often excluded a wide range of freedpeople, including women, the elderly, the physically disabled, and children. Downs concludes by tracing how the Reconstruction policy was then implemented in the American West, where it was disastrously applied to Native Americans. The widespread medical calamity sparked by emancipation is an overlooked episode of the Civil War and its aftermath, poignantly revealed in Sick from Freedom.
Book Reconstruction after the Civil War, Third Edition Description/Summary:
The classic work of American history by the renowned author of From Slavery to Freedom, with a new introduction by historian Eric Foner. First published in 1961, John Hope Franklin’s revelatory study of the Reconstruction Era is a landmark work of history, exploring the role of former slaves and dispelling longstanding popular myths about corruption and Radical rule. Looking past dubious scholarship that had previously dominated the narrative, Franklin combines astute insight and careful research to provide an accurate, comprehensive portrait of the era. Franklin’s arguments concerning the brevity of the North’s occupation, the limited power wielded by former slaves, the influence of moderate southerners, the flawed constitutions of the radical state governments, and the downfall of Reconstruction remain compelling today. This new edition of Reconstruction after the Civil War also includes a foreword by Eric Foner and a perceptive essay by Michael W. Fitzgerald.
Book Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction Description/Summary:
Finalist for the 2022 Lincoln Prize One of NPR's Best Books of 2021 A New York Times Critics' Top Book of 2021 A groundbreaking history of the movement for equal rights that courageously battled racist laws and institutions, Northern and Southern, in the decades before the Civil War. The half-century before the Civil War was beset with conflict over equality as well as freedom. Beginning in 1803, many free states enacted laws that discouraged free African Americans from settling within their boundaries and restricted their rights to testify in court, move freely from place to place, work, vote, and attend public school. But over time, African American activists and their white allies, often facing mob violence, courageously built a movement to fight these racist laws. They countered the states’ insistences that states were merely trying to maintain the domestic peace with the equal-rights promises they found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They were pastors, editors, lawyers, politicians, ship captains, and countless ordinary men and women, and they fought in the press, the courts, the state legislatures, and Congress, through petitioning, lobbying, party politics, and elections. Long stymied by hostile white majorities and unfavorable court decisions, the movement’s ideals became increasingly mainstream in the 1850s, particularly among supporters of the new Republican party. When Congress began rebuilding the nation after the Civil War, Republicans installed this vision of racial equality in the 1866 Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment. These were the landmark achievements of the first civil rights movement. Kate Masur’s magisterial history delivers this pathbreaking movement in vivid detail. Activists such as John Jones, a free Black tailor from North Carolina whose opposition to the Illinois “black laws” helped make the case for racial equality, demonstrate the indispensable role of African Americans in shaping the American ideal of equality before the law. Without enforcement, promises of legal equality were not enough. But the antebellum movement laid the foundation for a racial justice tradition that remains vital to this day.
Book W.E.B. Du Bois: Black Reconstruction (LOA #350) Description/Summary:
A definitive edition of the landmark book that forever changed our understanding of the Civil War’s aftermath and the legacy of racism in America Upon publication in 1935, W.E.B. Du Bois’s now classic Black Reconstruction offered a revelatory new assessment of Reconstruction—and of American democracy itself. One of the towering African American thinkers and activists of the twentieth century, Du Bois brought all his intellectual powers to bear on the nation’s post-Civil War era of political reorganization, a time when African American progress was met with a white supremacist backlash and ultimately yielded to the consolidation of the unjust social order of Jim Crow. Black Reconstruction is a pioneering work of revisionist scholarship that, in the wake of the censorship of Du Bois’s characterization of Reconstruction by the Encyclopedia Britannica, was written to debunk influential historians whose racist ideas and emphases had disfigured the historical record. “The chief witness in Reconstruction, the emancipated slave himself,” Du Bois argued, “has been almost barred from court. His written Reconstruction record has been largely destroyed and nearly always neglected.” In setting the record straight Du Bois produced what co-editor Eric Foner has called an “indispensable book,” a magisterial work of detached scholarship that is also imbued with passionate outrage. Presented in a handsome hardcover edition, with an illuminating new introduction by Foner and co-editor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and an authoritative text, Black Reconstruction is joined here for the first time with important writings that trace Du Bois’s thinking throughout his career about Reconstruction and its centrality in understanding the tortured course of democracy in America.