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James GoodmanForever Free is a good book: passionate, lucid, concise without being light. But will it be a match for ignorance? The old history took hold when Northerners concluded that the freedmen and women were as hopeless as white Southerners said they were; their fate was best left in white Southern hands. Through decades of lynching, segregation, disfranchisement, debt peonage, heightened prejudice and abject poverty, history justified inaction by demonstrating that federal interference only made race matters worse.
— The New York Times