This book is Volume VIII of A History of the South, a ten-volume series designed to present a thoroughly balanced history of all the complex aspects of the South’s culture from 1607 to the present. Like its companion volumes, The South During Reconstruction is written by an outstanding student of Southern history, E. Merton Coulter, who is also one of the editors of the series.
The tragic Reconstruction period still casts its long shadow over the South. In his study, Mr. Coulter looks beyond the familiar political and economic patterns into the more fundamental attitudes and activities of the people. In this dismal period of racial and political bitterness, little notice has been taken of the strivings for reorganization of agriculture under free labor, for industrial and transportation development, for a free-school system and higher education, and for the advance of religious, literary, and other cultural interests. Mr. Coulter’s book shows these things to be very real, and they are related to the Radical program, which, conceived both in good and evil, ran its course and finally collapsed.
This period forms an important chapter in American history. It is an account of a region, defeated in one of the world's great wars, struggling to rebuild its social and economic structure and to win back for itself a place in the reunited nation.
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