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By Becky on 09-23-15
Essential reading for all Americans.
Read it with The Half Has Never Been Told and Slavery By Another Name to completely alter and deepen your understanding of our history from the beginning of slavery to the present.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By SailingTs on 02-27-15
Counter to Fictional Accounts
This was a compelling story about Reconstruction. It does not touch much beyond the social issues of reconstruction and its effects on the South. What the story excels at is showing the promise of the post Civil War reforms and how those reforms were ultimately rolled back by the South still fighting for its old order. Rather than move forward from the Civil War, the South regressed back to many of its problems and put off true social change for 100 years.
Particularly helpful is the way the book went beyond the 1880's and includes how the historians and fictional writers of the early 20th century tried to rewrite Reconstruction as a vengeful act of a few northern Republicans. Civil rights were not revenge. They were a right for the southern citizens and this book explains how close we were to that change and then how it was all rolled back.
I enjoyed the book and learned more about the time period. I wish the author had spent some more time on the northern social issues during this time. To put little focus on them leaves out the southern argument that Reconstruction was imposing a social order on the South that the North did not have.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful