Freedoms Gained and Lost: Reconstruction and Its Meanings 150 Years Later (Reconstructing America) (Paperback)

Freedoms Gained and Lost: Reconstruction and Its Meanings 150 Years Later (Reconstructing America) By Adam H. Domby (Editor), Simon Lewis (Editor), Bruce E. Baker (Contribution by) Cover Image
By Adam H. Domby (Editor), Simon Lewis (Editor), Bruce E. Baker (Contribution by)
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Reconstruction is one of the most complex, overlooked, and misunderstood periods of American history. The thirteen essays in this volume address the multiple struggles to make good on President Abraham Lincoln's promise of a "new birth of freedom" in the years following the Civil War, as well as the counter-efforts including historiographical ones--to undermine those struggles. The forms these struggles took varied enormously, extended geographically beyond the former Confederacy, influenced political and racial thought internationally, and remain open to contestation even today. The fight to establish and maintain meaningful freedoms for America's Black population led to the apparently concrete and permanent legal form of the three key Reconstruction Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the revised state constitutions, but almost all of the latter were overturned by the end of the century, and even the former are not necessarily out of jeopardy. And it was not just the formerly enslaved who were gaining and losing freedoms. Struggles over freedom, citizenship, and rights can be seen in a variety of venues. At times, gaining one freedom might endanger another. How we remember Reconstruction and what we do with that memory continues to influence politics, especially the politics of race, in the contemporary United States. Offering analysis of educational and professional expansion, legal history, armed resistance, the fate of Black soldiers, international diplomacy post-1865 and much more, the essays collected here draw attention to some of the vital achievements of the Reconstruction period while reminding us that freedoms can be won, but they can also be lost.

About the Author

Adam H. Domby (Edited By) Adam Domby is an Associate Professor of History at Auburn University, having previously worked at the College of Charleston. He is the author of The False Cause: Fraud, Fabrication, and White Supremacy in Confederate Memory. In 2018, he won the John T. Hubble Prize for the best article in Civil War History. He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Simon Lewis (Edited By) Simon Lewis has been teaching African and Third World Literature at the College of Charleston since 1996. A former long-time director of the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) program at the College, Dr. Lewis is the coeditor of three volumes of essays in USC Press's Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World series: The Fruits of Exile: Central European Intellectual Immigration to America in the Age of Fascism, Ambiguous Anniversary: The Bicentennial of the International Slave Trade Bans, and The Civil War as Global Conflict: Transnational Meanings of the American Civil War. He is also the author of two monographs on African literature and numerous refereed articles primarily on South African writers. He was recognized in 2021 with a Governor's Award in the Humanities from South Carolina.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780823298167
ISBN-10: 0823298167
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication Date: December 7th, 2021
Pages: 272
Language: English
Series: Reconstructing America