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Children's LiteratureOver the years, the Reconstruction period following the American Civil War has been portrayed as an era of mistakes, misjudgments, and error. In reality, the twelve years that made up the Reconstruction era (1865-1877) represented a time of great opportunity and amelioration of the terrible ills bred by the longstanding existence of slavery in the antebellum South. During the Reconstruction era, African-American men were given the right to vote, serve on juries, and actively participate in all levels of government. In the Reconstruction period a system of public education that included African-American children was begun in the South. Economic opportunities never before available to African Americans existed and many black men and women took advantage of them. Nevertheless, the forces of racism and white supremacy gradually seeped back into the very fabric of civil life and, by 1877, virtually all of those advances for southern African Americans were suppressed. In African Americans During Reconstruction, Richard Worth charts the course of progress and regression during that pivotal period of American history. In relating this ultimately unsuccessful age of reform, Richard Worth does an excellent job of capturing the events, keynote personalities, and spirit of those bygone years. Here, in this fine historical work, readers will encounter Klansmen, black reformers, white idealists, scallywags, and carpetbaggers. This chapter of the illustrated "Slavery in the Americas" series is an excellent resource and, perhaps, the finest book in a strong set. 2006, Facts on File/Chelsea House, Ages 10 to 14.
—Greg M. Romaneck