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Lemann bases his devastating account on a wealth of military records, congressional investigations, memoirs, press reports, and the invaluable papers of Adelbert Ames, the war hero from Maine who was Mississippi's governor at the time. When Ames pleaded with Grant for federal troops who could thwart the white terrorists violently disrupting Republican political activities, Grant wavered, and the result was a bloody, corrupt election in which Mississippi was "redeemed", that is, returned to white control.
Redemption makes clear that this is what led to the death of Reconstruction and of the rights encoded in the 14th and 15th Amendments. We are still living with the consequences.
"[Redemption] is an important contribution to the rewriting of Southern history that began half a century ago with C. Vann Woodward's The Strange Career of Jim Crow, and it may well have comparable influence on our understanding of one of the most shameful periods in our past." (The Washington Post)
"Written on a dramatic human scale, and leavened by some fresh research and analysis, [Redemption] is an arresting piece of popular history." (New York Times Book Review)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By KMB Consumer on 08-10-07
A good accouting of the post Civil War suffering
This is a good history and accounting of the post Civil War suffering that freed blacks had to endure, but also shows the conviction, bravery and determination that many blacks possessed during this difficult period. I liked everything except the narrator's style. Something about this book left me thinking it could have been much more effective emotionally if narrated by someone else.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful