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A Short History of Reconstruction is a book about the Reconstruction and what follows after it, the domino effect or the aftermath in a formal style. It starts out with the day the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, teasing the reader with what was about to play out during the time.
The slaves being in the verge of freedom and their willingness to fight for their freedom gives the book an interesting approach to the story. The author uses metaphors and analogies to hook the reader by describing one perspective and shifting into another. Furthermore, the author cites external information to support his claims. Throughout the book the author mentions the possibility of the failure of the Reconstruction. The welcoming of eleven defeated Southern states into the Union was going to be a highly challenging process, given the cultural, political, and social differences between the Confederates or Southerners and the Union or the Northerners. Eric Foner connects the past to the present throughout his book enabling the reader to see the relevance. But the initial excitement of the Reconstruction faded out. The author also succeeds is in capturing detailed political and economic conditions of the Reconstruction. Eric Foner does not give simple explanations as he gives detailed ones. While often the key role played by white political leaders and a few black radical thinkers are mentioned, the collective political force of ordinary black slaves is usually not written about. Eric Foner gives emphasis to the documents at length the small but important contributions made by thousands of blacks during the Civil War. He picks up on how the blacks were actively participating in political and warfare.
Eric succeeds in illustrating how the push toward emancipation was at the most basic level. In conclusion, A Short History of Reconstruction is a really good book about one of the most important times during the Reconstruction written with accurate, factual, and good use of words. The book puts in an element of originality in the historical events. The book has “a remarkable clarity is one of the beauties of this book that dwells on so many conflicts and ambiguities. . . ” said Neil Irvin of Boston Globe. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history or is currently taking US history.
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