Title

Gold and Freedom: The Political Economy of Reconstruction

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Any sort of scholarly discussion of Reconstruction must contend with Eric Foner's definitive Reconstruction: An Unfinished Revolution (1988), now nearly thirty years old. Foner's work masterfully weaves together Republicans' political attempts to assert a new order on the South and the social dynamics at play in a postslavery society. Others have subsequently delved into this narrative always placing race relations at the forefront—and rightly so. That said, some scholars in more recent memory have tried to examine this Reconstruction story by moving into other realms, be it Heather Cox Richardson's excellent West from Appomattox (1998) detailing a more nationalist view of Reconstruction or Gregory Downs's very recent After Appomattox [End Page 422] (2015) examining the larger repercussions of a de facto guerrilla conflict that plagued the South following the Confederate surrender in 1865 until 1871...