A Reconstruction Reading List

Parsons KlanAsk for a book recommendation on Reconstruction and you are likely to get Eric Foner’s masterful synthesis, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877.

It’s still a great place to start, but there has been a good deal published about the period over the past few years and much of it takes us beyond the traditional time-line and spatial framework outlined in Foner.

What follows is a list of books that have pushed me in various ways to think anew about the standard list of events during the postwar period and a host of new ones. Of course, this is not intended as an exhaustive list.

Feel free to add suggestions in the comments section below. Continue reading “A Reconstruction Reading List”

Mercy Street: A Reading List

Thought I would put together a short reading list for those of you watching Mercy Street. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Rather, it offers a few suggestions to help get you started. Feel free to add further suggestions in the comments section below.

George Kundahl’s Alexandria Goes To War: Beyond Robert E. Lee offers a fairly comprehensive look at the city that serves as the setting for the show, but it does not delve much into the African-American experience. Continue reading “Mercy Street: A Reading List”

Free State of Jones: Official Trailer

It’s here. The first trailer for “Free State of Jones” starring Matthew McConaughey is now available and it looks incredible. The movie is based on Victoria Bynum’s excellent book, The Free State of Jones, Movie Edition: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War, which will soon be re-published by the University of North Carolina Press.

I will be reviewing both the book and the movie, which hits theaters this coming summer, for The Daily Beast. A couple of weeks ago I asked Vikki to reflect on the place of this movie in the context of our recent Civil War memory.

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 03/01

Land Deluged in BloodPatrick Breen, The Land Shall Be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Gary Gallagher and Joan Waugh, The American War: A History of the Civil War Era (Flip Learning, 2015).

Matthew W. Hall, Dividing the Union: Jesse Burgess Thomas and the Making of the Missouri Compromise (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015).

Elaine F. Parsons, Ku-Klux: The Birth of the Klan during Reconstruction (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

Franklin D. Vangnone and Deborah E. Ryan, Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums (Left Coast Press, 2015).