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Remembering reconstruction: Struggles over the meaning of America’s most turbulent era

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bruce Baker


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© 2017 by Carole Emberton and Bruce E. Baker. Academic studies of the Civil War and historical memory abound, ensuring a deeper understanding of how the war’s meaning has shifted over time and the implications of those changes for concepts of race, citizenship, and nationhood. The Reconstruction era, by contrast, has yet to receive similar attention from scholars. Remembering Reconstruction ably fills this void, assembling a prestigious lineup of Reconstruction historians to examine the competing social and historical memories of this pivotal and violent period in American history. Many consider the period from 1863 (beginning with slave emancipation) to 1877 (when the last federal troops were withdrawn from South Carolina and Louisiana) an “unfinished revolution” for civil rights, racial-identity formation, and social reform. Despite the cataclysmic aftermath of the war, the memory of Reconstruction in American consciousness and its impact on the country’s fraught history of identity, race, and reparation has been largely neglected. The essays in Remembering Reconstruction advance and broaden our perceptions of the complex revisions in the nation’s collective memory. Notably, the authors uncover the impetus behind the creation of black counter-memories of Reconstruction and the narrative of the “tragic era” that dominated white memory of the period. Furthermore, by questioning how Americans have remembered Reconstruction and how those memories have shaped the nation’s social and political history throughout the twentieth century, this volume places memory at the heart of historical inquiry.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Emberton C, Baker BE, Brundage WF

Publication type: Authored Book

Publication status: Published

Year: 2017

Number of Pages: 1-296

Print publication date: 01/04/2017

Online publication date: 12/04/2017

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Publisher: Louisiana State University Press

Place Published: Baton Rouge

Notes: 9780807166024 Hardback ISBN

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 0807166030