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Eric Foner

Reconstruction Reading List

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s recent comments on the Reconstruction era have, to say the least, raised the eyebrows of historians who study the time period. Where she argues that the era could have used “a little less rancor,” historians of the period see an American South filled both with a radical democratic promise and a region gripped by reactionary violence. Rancor and political incivility, while part of the history of Reconstruction in the South, were not the center of that story. Clinton’s comments are seen as an extension of the old “Dunning School” of thought on Reconstruction. Named after Columbia Read more