BN.com Gift Guide

Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877

( 4 )

Overview

This "masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history" (New Republic) made history when it was originally published in 1988. It redefined how Reconstruction was viewed by historians and people everywhere in its chronicling of how Americans — black and white — responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. This "smart book of enormous strengths" (Boston Globe) has since gone on to become the classic work on the wrenching post-Civil War period — an era...

See more details below
Paperback (ILLUSTRATED)
$16.14
BN.com price
(Save 32%)$23.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (26) from $7.89   
  • New (16) from $11.24   
  • Used (10) from $7.89   
Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

This "masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history" (New Republic) made history when it was originally published in 1988. It redefined how Reconstruction was viewed by historians and people everywhere in its chronicling of how Americans — black and white — responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. This "smart book of enormous strengths" (Boston Globe) has since gone on to become the classic work on the wrenching post-Civil War period — an era whose legacy reverberates still today in the United States.

"...a masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history."--New Republic

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060937164
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Series: Perennial Classics Series
  • Edition description: ILLUSTRATED
  • Pages: 736
  • Sales rank: 166,258
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of several books. In 2006 he received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching at Columbia University. He has served as president of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Society of American Historians. He lives in New York City.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



The World the War Made



The Coming of Emancipation


0n January 1, 1863, after a winter storm swept up the east coast of the United States, the sun rose in a cloudless sky over Washington, D.C. At the White House, Abraham Lincoln spent most of the day welcoming guests to the traditional New Year's reception. Finally, in the late afternoon, as he had pledged to do 100 days before, the President retired to his office to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Excluded from its purview were the 450,000 slaves in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri (border slave states that remained within the Union), 275,000 in Union-occupied Tennessee, and tens of thousands more in portions of Louisiana and Virginia under the control of federal armies. But, the Proclamation decreed, the remainder of the nation's slave population, well over 3 million men, women, and children, "are and henceforth shall be free."

Throughout the North and the Union-occupied South, January 1 was a day of celebration. An immense gathering, including black and white abolitionist leaders, stood vigil at Boston's Tremont Temple, awaiting word that the Proclamation had been signed. It was nearly midnight when the news arrived; wild cheering followed, and a black preacher led the throng in singing "Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea, Jehovah hath triumphed, his people are free." At a camp for fugitive slaves in the nation's capital, a black man "testified" about the sale, years before, of his daughter, exclaiming, "Now, no more dat!...Dey can't sell my wife and child any more,bless de Lord!" Farther south, at Beaufort, an enclave of federal control off the South Carolina coast, there were prayers and speeches and the freedmen sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee." To Charlotte Forten, a young black woman who had journeyed from her native Philadelphia to teach the former slaves, "it all seemed...like a brilliant dream." Even in areas exempted from the Proclamation, blacks celebrated, realizing that if slavery perished in Mississippi and South Carolina, it could hardly survive in Kentucky, Tennessee, and a few parishes of Louisiana.

Nearly two and a half centuries had passed since twenty black men and women were landed in Virginia from a Dutch ship. From this tiny seed had grown the poisoned fruit of plantation slavery, which, in profound and contradictory ways, shaped the course of American development. Even as slavery mocked the ideals of a nation supposedly dedicated to liberty and equality, slave labor played an indispensable part in its rapid growth, expanding westward with the young republic, producing the cotton that fueled the early industrial revolution. In the South, slavery spawned a distinctive regional ruling class (an "aristocracy without nobility" one Southern-born writer called it) and powerfully shaped the economy, race relations, politics, religion, and the law. Its influence was pervasive: "Nothing escaped, nothing and no one." In the North, where slavery had been abolished during and after the American Revolution, emerged abolition, the greatest protest movement of the age. The slavery question divided the nation's churches, sundered political ties between the sections, and finally shattered the bonds of Union. On the principle of opposing the further expansion of slavery, a new political party rose to power in the 1850s, placing in the White House a son of the slave state Kentucky, who had grown to manhood on the free Illinois prairies and believed the United States could not endure forever half slave and half free. In the crisis that followed Lincoln's election, eleven slave states seceded from the Union, precipitating in 1861 the bloodiest war the Western Hemisphere has ever known.

To those who had led the movement for abolition, and to slaves throughout the South, the Emancipation Proclamation not only culminated decades of struggle but evoked Christian visions of resurrection and redemption, of an era of unbounded progress for a nation purged at last of the sin of slavery. Even the staid editors of the New York Times believed it marked a watershed in American life, "an era in the history...of this country and the world." For emancipation meant more than the end of a labor system, more even than the uncompensated liquidation of the nation's largest concentration of private property ("the most stupendous act of sequestration in the history of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence," as Charles and Mary Beard described it). The demise of slavery inevitably threw open the most basic questions of the polity, economy, and society. Begun to preserve the Union, the Civil War now portended a far-reaching transformation in Southern life and a redefinition of the place of blacks in American society and of the very meaning of freedom in the American republic.

In one sense, however, the Proclamation only confirmed what was already happening on farms and plantations throughout the South. War, it has been said, is the midwife of revolution, and well before 1863 the disintegration of slavery had begun. Whatever politicians and military commanders might decree, slaves saw the war as heralding the longawaited end of bondage. Three years into the conflict, Gen. William T. Sherman encountered a black Georgian who summed up the slaves' understanding of the war from its outset: "He said...he had been looking for the 'angel of the Lord' ever since he was knee-high, and, though we professed to be fighting for the Union, he supposed that slavery was the cause, and that our success was to be his freedom." Based on this conviction, the slaves took actions that propelled a reluctant white America down the road to abolition.

As the Union Army occupied territory on the periphery of the Confederacy, first in Virginia, then in Tennessee, Louisiana, and elsewhere, slaves by the thousands headed for the Union lines. Union enclaves like Fortress Monroe, Beaufort, and New Orleans became havens for runaway slaves and bases for expeditions into the interior that further disrupted the plantation regime. Even in the heart of the Confederacy...

Reconstruction. Copyright © by Eric Foner. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Abbreviations Used in Footnotes xiii
Editors' Introduction xv
Preface xvii
1. The World the War Made 1
The Coming of Emancipation 1
The Inner Civil War 11
The North's Transformation 18
2. Rehearsals for Reconstruction 35
Dilemmas of Wartime Reconstruction 35
Land and Labor During the Civil War 50
The Politics of Emancipation and the End of the War 60
3. The Meaning of Freedom 77
From Slavery to Freedom 78
Building the Black Community 88
The Economics of Freedom 102
Origins of Black Politics 110
Violence and Everyday Life 119
4. Ambiguities of Free Labor 124
Masters Without Slaves 128
The "Misrepresented Bureau" 142
The Freedmen's Bureau, Land, and Labor 153
Beginnings of Economic Reconstruction 170
5. The Failure of Presidential Reconstruction 176
Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction 176
Launching the South's New Governments 185
The Anatomy of Presidential Reconstruction 198
The North's Response 216
6. The Making of Radical Reconstruction 228
The Radical Republicans 228
Origins of Civil Rights 239
The Fourteenth Amendment 251
The Campaign of 1866 261
The Coming of Black Suffrage 271
7. Blueprints for a Republican South 281
The Political Mobilization of the Black Community 281
The Republican Coalition 291
The North and Radical Reconstruction 307
The Constitutional Conventions 316
Impeachment and the Election of Grant 333
8. Reconstruction: Political and Economic 346
Party and Government in the Reconstruction South 346
Southern Republicans in Power 364
The Gospel of Prosperity 379
Patterns of Economic Change 392
9. The Challenge of Enforcement 412
The New Departure and the First Redemption 412
The Ku Klux Klan 425
"Power from Without" 444
10. The Reconstruction of the North 460
The North and the Age of Capital 461
The Transformation of Politics 469
The Rise of Liberalism 488
The Election of 1872 499
11. The Politics of Depression 512
The Depression and Its Consequences 512
Retreat from Reconstruction 524
The Waning of Southern Republicanism 535
The Crisis of 1875 553
12. Redemption and After 564
The Centennial Election 564
The Electoral Crisis and the End of Reconstruction 575
The Redeemers' New South 587
Epilogue: "The River Has Its Bend" 602
Acknowledgments 613
Selected Bibliography 615
Index 643
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 19, 2011

    Award-Winning Classic on Reconstruction

    This book won the Bancroft Prize and Francis Parkman Prize by the Society of American Historians for historical excellence. This book is the benchmark book on Reconstruction. Readers wanting a more accessible read should consider the author's brief history of Reconstruction. Foner recently won the Lincoln Prize for "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery."

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    A must read for anyone interested in the tumultuous era following the american civil war.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)