5 thoughts on “A Short History of Reconstruction

  1. The first half is a dry and dense recital of the change in federal laws and early state constitutions that commenced Reconstruction. But the second half focuses on how racism, postwar economic events, and evolving concepts of the appropriate scope of government ended up reversing both the gains of Reconstruction in the South and the identity of the national Republican Party. It turned the party from the champion of abolition, free labor rights, and government as catalyst of development to the en

  2. Good history but I find it hard to read because it is not told through stories but through facts and analysis. Only seem to be able to read 5 pages at a time before I drift off. Learned lots about why we are where we are today and how lots of the campaign “issues” about Obama harken back to reconstruction politics.

  3. Confusing, unclear, and scattered, not unlike The Guns of August. Every sentence in the book is an uncited statement of fact, with little in the way of a narrative or an analysis of any one set of facts. Thus, I am forced to discriminate between raw statements of fact and skewed statements of interpretation myself, while flying completely blind. Having said that, I did learn quite a lot. The book is dense with facts about the ten-year (or so) period after the Civil War that are not common knowl

  4. clear-cut, well-written, absolutely fucking appalling.

    here’s the thing: my public school teachers politely glossed over that whole RECONSTRUCTION thing, subtitled “In Which White Politicians Decide To Continue The System Of Slavery, Albeit Informally”. i suspect my teachers were not allowed to teach us about Reconstruction, in the same way they were not allowed to teach about the Holocaust, or the Vietnam War, or the US-run internment camps for Japanese citizens, or the various atrocities commi

  5. Good fast-paced coverage of a topic that most Americans only have a superficial understanding of. He does a good job at placing the events of Reconstruction in their historical context (ex. by starting the story as the Civil War was still occurring, rather than in 1865). He also does a solid job at breaking out of the political narrative that is often the only focus of Reconstruction. He focuses on economic problems and the very complex social changes that were occurring, as well as the politica

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