A Short History of Reconstruction (Anglais) Broché – Version coupée, 10 janvier 1990
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Description du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
An abridged version of Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, the definitive study of the aftermath of the Civil War, winner of the Bancroft Prize, Avery O. Craven Prize, Los Angeles Times Book Award, Francis Parkman Prize, and Lionel Trilling Prize.
Quatrième de couverture
From the "preeminent historian of Reconstruction" (New York Times Book Review), a newly updated AND abridged edition of the prizewinning classic on the post–Civil War period that shaped modern America
In this updated edition of the abridged Reconstruction, Eric Foner redefines how the post-Civil War period was viewed.
Reconstruction chronicles the way in which Americans—black and white—responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. It addresses the quest of emancipated slaves searching for economic autonomy and equal citizenship, and describes the remodeling of Southern society, the evolution of racial attitudes and patterns of race relations, and the emergence of a national state possessing vastly expanded authority and committed, for a time, to the principle of equal rights for all Americans.
This "masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history" (New Republic) remains the standard work on the wrenching post-Civil War period—an era whose legacy still reverberates in the United States today.--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
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Eric Foner is the preeminent historian of the Reconstruction, having written about it for three decades and won the available major prizes for his books. This, the most recent edition of his short history of Reconstruction, will be just right for some readers, while others will prefer the latest edition of his longer, magisterial work on the topic.
Early Reconstruction effort were begun by the Union Army during the Civil War, After Lincoln's assassination, in Andrew Johnson's administration, his go slow policies resulted in Impeachment, which he survived by one vote. After the 1868 election, a Radical Republican Congress and President Grant embarked on a far more ambitious program for 8 years. However, the next Republican President, Rutherford B Hayes. faced by an economic Depression and decreasing public support for Reconstruction programs, as well as increasingly intransigent opposition in the South, pulled out the army and ended the Reconstruction efforts in the South.
Much had been done, not all according to plan. Former slaves were now living in nuclear families, often on their sharecropping land, and there were black schools, black churches, black associations, as well as some enforced legal rights for former slaves. agricultural production, and notably the export of cotton had been restored. Means had been found to bring the southern states back into the political institutions of the Union.
Foner gives a succinct account of what happened and why. Here is a summary of the discussion of the book by a history book club. j.mp/1Ls5UPu
It is a tribute to Foner’s clear analysis that the reader may find themselves in empathy with President Andrew Johnson during the period of Presidential reconstruction and to also empathize with the Radical Republicans that took their turn with Radical Reconstruction. Both phases of Reconstruction had to deal with a similar situation, that the infrastructure and social network of the Southern states after the war still retained Confederates of considerable education and influence and that the Unionist or Southern Republicans were just not strong enough or supported enough to remake the South after the war. The Southern states were devastated. There was considerable hunger and homelessness. The banking and commodities infrastructure was demolished and Confederate bond holders were now bankrupt. There were Unionists and Southern Republicans who risked their lives to stay in the Southern states during the war but at the end of the war the tasks of rebuilding the southern states was beyond the abilities or resources of these Unionists and the old power structure came forward and moved into public offices and positions of influence. This trend was much in evidence during Andrew Johnson’s Presidential Reconstruction period but was also present in the Radical or Congressional Reconstruction period also.
Foner makes it very clear that the fate of the freed slaves was a major social upheaval and consideration during this period. The complexity of the situation was amazing for a million people were now free with no jobs, land, opportunity, education, nor power. Foner’s analysis is primarily an economic analysis around the struggle between capital and labor and that when the slaves were freed, capital found it in their best interest to return these freed slaves to near-slave economic conditions as tenant farmers with no rights to negotiate the conditions of their tenancy.
The presidency and impeachment of President Andrew Johnson is well presented and reveals that Johnson was just not capable to enforcing Reconstruction and thus the planter power structure of the old South crept back into authority during the final two years of his presidency. However, once responsibility for reconstruction shifted from the President to Congress, some progress was made but old relationships emerged in the South that were beyond intervention by a distant Republican congress in Washington.
Foner avoids the major summary statements that sum it all up for the reader. This is not popular literature, it is a serious historic analysis, and it is through careful presentation of the facts that the complexity emerges. I found that I would read pages of Foner’s narrative before I was able to step back and summarize for myself these enormous social, political, and economic trends that unfolded in the years after the Civil War.
Suppression of the black population was accomplished with considerable amounts of violence and threat to a highly vulnerable people. Foner never sentimentalizes this process but continues to keep a cool analytic approach that most often focused on the need to increase profit through inexpensive labor. The black people were labor and to the degree that they could be intimidated into accepting bare subsistence compensation for their labor was to the extent that the white ruling class could move out of post war poverty into comfort.
The Gilded Age has its roots in the first four years of Grant’s presidency. Movement west with the massive expansion of the railroads captured the attention of the entire country. Eventually the Northern Republicans grew tired of monitoring the South and resources dried up due to the Depression of 1873. Without support from Northern Republicans, Southern Republicans were over powered by the Planter class and Southern Democrats. The two terms of President Grant was the period in which the Republicans shifted their interests and capital to other ventures.
I strongly recommend the book. It is well documented and his analysis is well reasoned.
Read this book if you want to begin to understand the forces that shaped this country in the aftermath of the Civil War. Read this book if you want to gain insight into the history of discrimination and race relations in the US. Read this book if you have been visiting Civil War Battlefield Parks (as I have) and have been left in awe of the enormity of it all, and wanting to try to put it into some kind of social and cultural perspective. Just read this book.