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Reconstruction Audiobook

Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877

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Publisher's Summary

The period following the Civil War was one of the most controversial eras in American history. This comprehensive account of the period captures the drama of those turbulent years that played such an important role in shaping modern America.

Eric Foner brilliantly chronicles how Americans, black and white, responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the Civil War and the end of slavery. He provides fresh insights on a host of other issues, including the ways in which the emancipated slave's quest for economic autonomy and equal citizenship shaped the political agenda of Reconstruction; the remodeling of Southern society and the place of planters, merchants, and small farmers within it; the evolution of racial attitudes and patterns of race relations; Abraham Lincoln's attitude toward Reconstruction; the role of "carpetbaggers" and "scalawags"; and the role of violence in the period.

This "smart book of enormous strengths" (Boston Globe) has become the classic work on the wrenching post-Civil War period, an era whose legacy reverberates in the United States to this day.

©1988 Eric Foner (P)1990 Blackstone Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (85 )
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3.9 (79 )
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  •  
    Ted Menifee, CA, United States 06-02-16
    Ted Menifee, CA, United States 06-02-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Informative and very detailed"

    I certainly learned a lot from the narrative, and can recommend it as a source of great detail about the politics of the era and the effects of changing policies on freedmen, southern whites, and northern politicians. Many of the details are important to an understanding of racial tensions that continue into our own time.

    The narrator has a pleasant voice and kept an appropriate tempo and range of expression. I found distracting his unorthodox pronunciation of hegemony, a word that comes up frequently in the text. There were other less frequent words that he also pronounced strangely.

    This book probably had just a bit too much detail for me; the book seemed to drag on a bit. It is no doubt ideal for a historian or one researching the roots of American race relations.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aryaman Shalizi 07-02-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Bring some water, because this is dry."

    The roughly two decades following the Civil War is one of the most consequential but unexamined periods of American history. I'm certain there's a gripping narrative history of reconstruction to be told, but sadly Foner's book isn't it. Thorough, scholarly, almost magisterial, it's also curiously lifeless, and the narrator doesn't do the dry recounting of events any favors with his slow and ponderous delivery. (Pro-tip: speed it up to at least 1.25x, so he sounds like a normal person.).

    It's interesting to contrast "Reconstruction" with "Savage Continent," which detailed the immediate post-second world war Europe. The former is thorough but colorless, while the latter book manages to capture the sweeping big picture within vivid firsthand anecdotes. Even the moments that should shock and appall the reader—the rise of the Klan, violent reprisals against freedmen, etc.—are rendered banal an lifeless by Foner.

    I'm still glad I read it, but I wouldn't recommend "Reconstruction". Unfortunately, I don't know what book I would recommend in its place.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lansford ireson 04-04-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Sound quality is terrible"

    Content sounded great. Sound quality of the narrator was absolutely terrible. Could not finish despite several tries.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray P. FPO, AP, United States 09-25-16
    Ray P. FPO, AP, United States 09-25-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Reasonably good book, sometimes overly detailed"

    I like the details that the author provides, sometimes the endless political machinations get to be difficult to follow and redundant. This is probably true of the era, but for a historical tome it can be difficult to follow.

    The reader is a huge detriment to this book. His is monotone and uses little voice variation even in his most emphatic moments. I turned the speed up to two times normal and found myself able to feel more interested in the performance.

    All in all, a very interesting book about a very to tumultuous time.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Frandano Wilmington NC USA 04-28-17
    Paul Frandano Wilmington NC USA 04-28-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Norman Dietz is a lazy narrator..."

    ...who seems to think he csn fake words he has no idea how to pronounce. This is a pit, because he has and exceptionally mellifluous voice, which is wasted on mispronunciations so egregious and so frequent that at approximately 5 to 10 minute intervals I shouted out the name of the Christ. Eric Foner's book remains the definitive history of Reconstruction that all subsequent histories have had to take account of, Happily, Foner's titanic achiecement rings out despite Norman Dietz's unfortunate narration. Dietz should not be permitted to read scholarly non fiction , which typically has a high percentage professional language, foreign terms arcane social science terminology, and the like. Producers of such audiobooks should obtain restraining orders to keep Mr Dietz from their recording studios.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 12-07-16
    Robert 12-07-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A frequently misunderstood period of history"

    This is a lengthy book--sometimes tough with audiobooks. But the narrator does a good job and the subject is thoughtfully and thoroughly examined.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William FORT MYERS, FLORIDA, United States 08-10-16
    William FORT MYERS, FLORIDA, United States 08-10-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Very Thorough and Eye-Opening"

    It ought to be required reading for everyone in high school since racism is so rampant in our society .

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Anderson 05-10-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Good"

    Not a lot of new information, but some. Mostly it's better told than other books on the same era.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Grove 02-20-17
    James Grove 02-20-17 Member Since 2009
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    "Too much"
    If you could sum up Reconstruction in three words, what would they be?

    Way too much to listen to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Reconstruction?

    The treatment of Andrew Johnson's presidency


    What about Norman Dietz’s performance did you like?

    Very clear.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Pick a section of it; try not to do the whole thing.


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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