Reconstructions : New Perspectives on the Postbellum United States

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The pivotal era of Reconstruction has inspired an outstanding historical literature. In the half-century after W.E.B. DuBois published Black Reconstruction in America (1935), a host of thoughtful and energetic authors helped to dismantle racist stereotypes about the aftermath of emancipation and Union victory in the Civil War. The resolution of long-running interpretive debates shifted the issues at stake in Reconstruction scholarship, but the topic has remained a vital venue for original exploration of the American past. In Reconstructions: New Perspectives on the Postbellum United States, eight rising historians survey the latest generation of work and point to promising directions for future research. They show that the field is opening out to address a wider range of adjustments to the experiences and effects of Civil War. Increased interest in cultural history now enriches understandings traditionally centered on social and political history. Attention to gender has joined a focus on labor as a powerful strategy for analyzing negotiations over private and public authority. The contributors suggest that Reconstruction historiography might further thrive by strengthening connections to such subjects as western history, legal history, and diplomatic history, and by redefining the chronological boundaries of the postwar period. The essays provide more than a variety of attractive vantage points for fresh examination of a major phase of American history. By identifying the most exciting recent approaches to a theme previously studied so ably, the collection illuminates the creative process in scholarly historical more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 157.5 x 236.2 x 27.9mm | 476.28g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195175956
  • 9780195175950
  • 1,986,266

Review quote

"This is a detailed, throrough, and exciting new survey of the discipline. The modestly sized volume pack eight dense essays that deliver intense, concentrated, and provocative reviews of the state of the field.... Everyone working in the field should consult this important book."--Richard Zuczek, Civil War Book Review"Whether historians continue to expand the definition of Reconstruction, this volume will be essential reading for those who wish either an introduction or a refresher course."--Jane Turner Censer, American Historical Review"In a series of topical essays, the authors make it clear that the field is not only alive and well but extraordinarily innovative. From now on, Reconstruction studies must begin here."--George M. Fredrickson, author of Racism: A Short Historyshow more

About Thomas J. Brown

Thomas J. Brown is Associate Professor of History and Associate Director of the Institute for Southern Studies, University of South more

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