Friday, June 22, 2007

Splendid Failure: Postwar Reconstruction in the American South

by Michael W. Fitzgerald

From the publisher:
Michael Fitzgerald's new interpretation of Reconstruction shows how the internal dynamics of this first freedom movement played into the hands of white racist reactionaries in the South.

Splendid Failure recounts how postwar financial missteps and other governance problems quickly soured idealistic Northerners on the practical consequences of the Radical Republican plan, and set the stage for the explosion that swept Southern Republicans from power and resulted in Northern acquiescence to the bloody repression of voting rights.

The failed strategy offers a chastening example to present-day proponents of racial equality.

"Fitzgerald...has pulled off the enormously difficult task of writing a short, clear, analytically distinctive history of reconstruction . . . " - Thomas Pegram