Budiansky gives a thorough and honest account of the post Civil War South, and its obsession with killing and disenfranchising its former slaves, as well as any Republican "carpetbagger" who might have the gall to implement the laws and Constitutional Amendments regarding their Rights.
Then he blunders into the modern fiction that somehow, magically, in the 1960's, everyone switched sides, and the Democrat party became the champion of disaffected black Americans, and the Republicans suddenly found white supremacy the road to power. I shouldn't have to point out to a historian the voting record of Congress regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or the cynical, vote grabbing views of Lyndon Johnson regarding black Americans, or the devastating effects of the "Great Society" on black Americans and more specifically, the black family. With friends like these, who needs enemies.
Whether he's being intentionally misleading, or is simply wrong, Budiansky should be better than that.