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David S. ReynoldsDray casts fresh light on the positive aspects of Reconstruction and powerfully dramatizes its negative side. His well-researched book is both exhilarating and disturbing. It offers a collective biography of several black congressmen in the South during Reconstruction who bravely took a public stance against racial prejudice. But it also shows that these politicians were stymied by a rising culture of white supremacy and home rule in the South.
—The New York Times