THE DEATH OF RECONSTRUCTION

THE DEATH OF RECONSTRUCTION

by Heather Cox RICHARDSON
     
 

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Historians overwhelmingly have blamed the demise of Reconstruction on Southerners' persistent racism. Richardson argues instead that class, along with race, was critical to Reconstruction's end. She reveals a growing backlash from Northerners against those who believed that inequalities should be addressed through working-class action, and the emergence of an American… See more details below

Overview

Historians overwhelmingly have blamed the demise of Reconstruction on Southerners' persistent racism. Richardson argues instead that class, along with race, was critical to Reconstruction's end. She reveals a growing backlash from Northerners against those who believed that inequalities should be addressed through working-class action, and the emergence of an American middle class that championed individual productivity and saw African-Americans as a threat to their prosperity.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Richardson (history, MIT) continues the work she started in her first book, The Greatest Nation of the Earth, which focused on how the Republican ideal of "free labor" shaped Union legislation during the Civil War. This ideal held that through hard work and persistence any man could advance in American society and that laissez-faire government was the best way to promote economic growth. Her new book focuses on the inadequacies and na vet of this agrarian ideal for a complex, war-torn nation with four million disenfranchised former slaves, a huge wartime federal government, and a bitter and demoralized Southern white population. Richardson argues that the Republican Party failed to change its ideology as the nation moved from essentially a rural nation of small farms to an industrialized, urban nation. She makes extensive use of contemporary newspaper articles, periodicals, speeches, and personal accounts to capture this tumultuous era in American history. Highly recommended for academic libraries. Robert Flatley, Frostburg State Univ., MD Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674042698
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
06/30/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
330
Sales rank:
813,167
File size:
0 MB

What People are saying about this

Heather Richardson's The Death of Reconstruction is a work of genuine originality and imagination. Steeped in remarkable research, this is a persuasive account of how economic world views drove Northerners' retreat from Reconstruction; it makes us view Reconstruction from a different angle and helps explain, as well as any book has, the deep significance of individualism in American life in the late nineteenth century.

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