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Reconstruction (New American Nation Series) [Paperback]

Eric Foner
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 14.23 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Perennial Classics Ed edition (1 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060937165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060937164
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.4 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An award-winning study of nineteenth-century America describes the changes brought about by the Civil War, discusses the impact of slavery's end, and looks at the political, economic, and social aspects of Reconstruction. Reprint. 75,000 first printing.

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First Sentence
ON 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. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly History of Reconstruction 3 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Foners excellent book is a masterfull historical synthesis of the period known as Reconstruction after the American Civil War (1861-65).

The book is extremely readable, comprehensive and full of intelligent analysis of the social, cultural, racial and economic forces of the era amply illustrated with pertinent quotes from all those involved. The situation after the end of the civil war when the defeated south was occupied by the Union Army is one that I knew little about before reading this book, but that proved to be no obstacle to engaging with Foners well written book.

He pictures the position of the freed Slaves, the Confederate south and the Union North with great skill; not simplifying or glossing over nuances but presenting a full picture of all the forces, pressures and ideologies that clashed within that era. The plight of the freed blacks, and their frustrations in attempting to claim a full political, social and economic role within the post civil war United States is particularly harrowing and frustrating for anyone with a sense of fairness. The level of white violence which goes beyond the Ku Klux Klan to a fair proportion of the southern Democratic party is sickening, I had no idea at how pervasive and murderous it was.

It is definitely worth getting holding of, and if you can't stomach the 600 pages of the unabridged edition (or have a weak wrist) then there is a shorter version available too - A Short History of Reconstruction. I look forward to getting my hands on other works by Eric Foner.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent detailed account of Reconstruction. 23 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was practically my bible for American Reconstruction when I was an undergraduate. It assesses the era from 1863-77 in great detail, rejecting the early prejudiced Dunning School interpretation, and the post-revisionist studies of the 70s and 80s, which viewed the Republicans as inherently conservative in their approach to Reconstruction.

Foner's own view is something closer to a revisionist. He views the freed slaves as active, central participants in the story of Reconstruction, and emphasises the dramatic social change that occurred in both the North and the South at this time.

He does seem to favour social history, but because the study is so extensive there is plenty of political narrative for the political historian (such as myself) as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional overview. 14 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Reconstruction era is one of the most contentious periods in American history. This book examines the issues clearly with a fine academic rigour. The issues surrounding the reintegration of the devastated South live on in contemporary American politics. This book is an important contribution to the understanding of it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Worthy but not gripping. 20 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very comprehensive examination of all the problems and issues associated with Reconstruction. An excellent text book and reference source, however, as I had come to "Reconstruction" on the back of the superb "Battle Cry Freedom" I was disappointed. It lacks the creative and literary spark of a top class read. So worthy but not gripping.
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