Reunion and Reaction: The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction / Edition 1

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Between the era of America's landmark antebellum compromises and that of the Compromise of 1877, a war had intervened, destroying the integrity of the Southern system but failing to determine the New South's relation to the Union. While it did not restore the old order in the South, or restore the South to parity with the Union, it did lay down the political foundations for reunion, bring Reconstruction to an end, and shape the future of four million freedmen.
Originally published in 1951, this classic work by one of America's foremost experts on Southern history presents an important new interpretation of the Compromise, forcing historians to revise previous attitudes towards the Reconstruction period, the history of the Republican party, and the realignment of forces that fought the Civil War. Because much of the negotiating occurred in secrecy, historians have known less about this Compromise than others before it. Now reissued with a new introduction by Woodward, Reunion and Reaction gives us the other half of the story.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Once or twice in every generation a historian has the patience and enterprise to return to some supposedly established conception of our past, carve away a long-standing mistinterpretation, and expose a part of the true surface....Woodward has done exactly that, and I believe he has provided us with one of the major historical insights of our time."—Richard Hofstadter, Columbia University

"In this eminently readable volume Woodward has made a major contribution to our understanding of Southern interests and issues. His penetrating and provocative analysis of this most far-reaching compromise of our national history indicates clearly the inadequacy and superficiality of long accepted myths. And it provides us with important insights into the realities of contemporary Southern and national politics. This is history as it should be written—and read."—R.D. Heffner, The Nation

"An important book, and a work of live scholarship."—The New Yorker

"Woodward must be given credit for bringing together the story in a superb bit of historical craftmanship....A convincing account, with a detective's skill and keen sense of the meaning of small leads and an understanding of the larger aspects of history."—E.M. Coulter, Saturday Review of Literature

"A magnificent book....This circumstantial account of the inner workings of the Compromise that ended Reconstruction reads like a detective story."—Rupert B. Vance, University of North Carolina

"A fresh, vital thing, full-bodied, incisive, revealing. At long last we know all the unsavory details."—Annals of the American Academy of Social and Political Sciences

"An illuminating and thorough study....[Woodward] writes political history with an appreciation of its drama, excitement, and larger meaning."—Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195064230
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1991
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,003,177
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

C. Vann Woodward is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. He is the author of many books, including Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel, The Battle for Leyte Gulf, Origins of the New South, The Burden of Southern History, and The Future of the Past.

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