Princeton University Library Catalog

The literature of Reconstruction : not in plain black and white / Brook Thomas.

Thomas, Brook, 1947- [Browse]
  • Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017.
  • ©2017
xv, 378 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary note:
"In this groundbreaking new study, author Brook Thomas argues that literary analysis can enhance our historical understanding of race and Reconstruction. The standard view that Reconstruction ended with the Compromise of 1877 is a retrospective construction. Works of literature provide the perspective of those who continued to see possibilities for its renewal well past 1877. Historians have long tried to reconcile social history's emphasis on the local with political history's emphasis on the national. Literature creates national political allegories while focusing on events in a particular locale. Moreover, the debate over Reconstruction was a debate about state legitimacy as well as specific laws. It was a question of foundational myths as well as foundational legal principles. Literature's political allegories allow us to recreate those debates rather than view the end of Reconstruction as a foregone conclusion. Because many of the issues raised by Reconstruction remain unresolved, those debates continue into the present. Chapters treat how the racial issues raised by Reconstruction are interwoven with debates over state v. national authority, efforts to combat terrorism (the KKK), the paternalism of welfare, economic expansion, and the question of who should rightly inherit the nation's past. Thomas examines authors who opposed Reconstruction, authors who supported it, and authors who struggled with mixed feelings. This exciting text will set the standard in literary historical studies for decades to come"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliographic references:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 329-364) and index.
Not in Plain Black and White -- Reconciliation and Reunion: Clasping Hands over the Bloody Chasm -- Federalism: Thinking Nationally, Acting Locally -- The Ku Klux Klan: The Necessity of Extreme Measures -- Of Mules and Men: African American Manhood and the Paradox of Paternalism -- Ruiz de Burton and Railroads: The Westward Course of Reconstruction -- Working with the Inheritance of the Old South -- Inheriting a Shadow and a Dream.
  • Criticism, interpretation, etc.
  • History.
  • 9781421421322 ((hardback))
  • ((electronic))
  • 1421421321 ((hardcover))
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