A Short History of Reconstruction, Updated Edition

1863-1877
Narrated by: Paul Heitsch
Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this updated edition of Reconstruction, Eric Foner redefines how the post-Civil War period was viewed.

Reconstruction chronicles the way in which Americans - black and white - responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. It addresses the quest of emancipated slaves' searching for economic autonomy and equal citizenship and describes the remodeling of Southern society; the evolution of racial attitudes and patterns of race relations; and the emergence of a national state possessing vastly expanded authority and one committed, for a time, to the principle of equal rights for all Americans.

This "masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history" (New Republic) remains the standard work on the wrenching post-Civil War period - an era whose legacy still reverberates in the United States today.

©2015 Eric Foner (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about A Short History of Reconstruction, Updated Edition

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good survey of the material, awful narrator

I wanted and overview of the topic and I got it, but found it less than satisfying. The narrator might be tolerable for an hour, not for an entire book. That may explain the low satisfaction. Or maybe it's because the reduction from the author's original, longer book simply leaves too much out. It is an enormous topic.

If I were to go after an audiobook on Reconstruction again, I would choose the longer version, in hopes the additional detail it includes and a different reader would cure my disappointment.

3 people found this helpful

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Eye Opening!

It got into a lot of the details in a very understandable way. I've listened to other books on the topic and this one did the best as.to focusing on how our government treated African Americans as it wove in the other things going on during reconstruction that had to do with all races. An excellent bookmark for understanding the whole Reconstruction period in a very efficient "read".

3 people found this helpful

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So much I did not know

What an excellent narrative of what happened during the civil war and the Reconstruction period after. Well researched and written. I will listen a 2nd time. I think a much bette choice than the current “ White Fragility “. One walks away with a somber understanding of why even all these years later, we have not truly fixed the race situation long term.

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Excellent (not really) short history

Like all books by Mr Foner beautifully crafted scholarship. While shorter then his longer reconstruction history it had more then enough for me, just about the right length. Found Mr Heitsch reading to be a bit too fast, would find myself drifting while I was listening and have to rewind

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Depth and Deceptive

I enjoyed the quality and depth of Foner’s book. I’m surprised, however, that academia does not challenge a few weak and unsupportable elements. First, he routinely blames Radical Republicans for not being more assertive to Institute Reconstruction policy at the federal and state level. Then he describes all of the elements of Jim Crow’s vanquishing reform - defeating laws, violence through the KKK, killing black and white civic leaders. All of this was done by Southern Dems. Where’s the blame? Likewise, Foner conveniently skips the details of passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments - a full demonstration that even Dems in the North were anti-reform. A shame his obvious personal bias stands in the way of otherwise quality work.

1 person found this helpful