Facts of Reconstruction, Race, and Politics - Cover
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Facts of Reconstruction, Race, and Politics

240 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations

Southern History

  Paperback / 9780807116913 / May 1991

Thirty years after the publication of John Hope Franklin’s influential interpretative essay Reconstruction: After the Civil War, ten distinguished scholars have contributed to a new appraisal of Reconstruction scholarship. Recognizing Professor Franklin’s major contributions to the study of the Reconstruction era, their work of analysis and review has been dedicated to him.

Although most of the contributors studied with John Hope Franklin, The Facts of Reconstruction is not afestschrift, at least not the conventional sense. The book does not offer a comprehensive assessment of Franklin’s remarkably wide-ranging work in southern and Afro-American history, but instead engages his influential interpretation of Reconstruction.

The essays in The Facts of Reconstruction focus upon questions raised in Reconstruction: After the Civil War. Was southern white intransigence the decisive influence in Presidential Reconstruction? What as the role of violence in southern “redemption”? How successful were the educational experiments of the Reconstruction era? Why did southern Republicans fail to build an effective coalition capable of surviving the pressure of racism?

In addition, several essays discuss questions not directly addressed in Franklin’s book, since his pathbreaking work indirectly stimulated study in a variety of new areas. For example, contributors to The Facts of Reconstruction examine the ante-bellum origins of Reconstruction, evaluate the development of racial segregation during the late nineteenth century, analyze the political and legal ideas behind the Reconstruction debates, and study the prospering minority among blacks.

Representing a variety of perspectives, the authors have sought to follow John Hope Franklin’s admonition that Reconstruction should not be used as “a mirror of ourselves.” If they have succeeded, this book in honor of a profound scholar and inspiring teacher will provoke new discussion about “the facts of Reconstruction.”

Eric Anderson is professor of history at Pacific Union College. He is the author of Race and Politics in North Carolina 1872-1901: The Black Second and a contributor to Southern Black Leaders of the Reconstruction Era and Race, Class, and Politics in Southern History: Essays in Honor of Robert F. Durden.

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