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The book opens with a lynching so grisly, it shocks even now. I was concerned I might be flogged all through with a too-anxiously-lopsided view, which is unlistenable to me no matter what the topic is, or side taken. (I want the whole story, with depths and dimensions in all the arguments and players! Especially, that includes those I am inclined to disagree with.)
It turns out, the writing is masterful, as a legal story, and as a story generally. The Reconstruction era and the arrival of the 14th Amendment mark a major turning point in US and global history. The nature and job of the US federal government (hinging on these changes to the Constitution) changed dramatically and forever, though certainly not, as it played out, as various idealists hoped. Due attention to this requires skillfully unpacking the people, events and ideas around it. This book accomplishes that, right along the sweet spot between being listenable and being informative. It takes a lot of work to hone a book to this point.
The narrator is very gifted and fits the material like a glove. I hope to hear more from him.
This book earned my highest compliment: I am dreaming it at night.