Forever Free

Forever Free

The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction

Book - 2005
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Random House, Inc.
From one of our most distinguished historians, a new examination of the vitally important years of Emancipation and Reconstruction during and immediately following the Civil War–a necessary reconsideration that emphasizes the era’s political and cultural meaning for today’s America.

In Forever Free, Eric Foner overturns numerous assumptions growing out of the traditional understanding of the period, which is based almost exclusively on white sources and shaped by (often unconscious) racism. He presents the period as a time of determination, especially on the part of recently emancipated black Americans, to put into effect the principles of equal rights and citizenship for all.

Drawing on a wide range of long-neglected documents, he places a new emphasis on the centrality of the black experience to an understanding of the era. We see African Americans as active agents in overthrowing slavery, in helping win the Civil War, and–even more actively–in shaping Reconstruction and creating a legacy long obscured and misunderstood. Foner makes clear how, by war’s end, freed slaves in the South built on networks of church and family in order to exercise their right of suffrage as well as gain access to education, land, and employment.

He shows us that the birth of the Ku Klux Klan and renewed acts of racial violence were retaliation for the progress made by blacks soon after the war. He refutes lingering misconceptions about Reconstruction, including the attribution of its ills to corrupt African American politicians and “carpetbaggers,” and connects it to the movements for civil rights and racial justice.

Joshua Brown’s illustrated commentary on the era’s graphic art and photographs complements the narrative. He offers a unique portrait of how Americans envisioned their world and time.

Forever Free is an essential contribution to our understanding of the events that fundamentally reshaped American life after the Civil War–a persuasive reading of history that transforms our sense of the era from a time of failure and despair to a threshold of hope and achievement.

Baker & Taylor
Analyzes the post-Civil War era of emancipation and Reconstruction with an emphasis on discovering the larger political and cultural meaning for contemporary America of the lives of the newly freed slaves and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.

& Taylor

Analyzes the post-Civil War era of Emancipation and Reconstruction with an emphasis on discovering the larger political and cultural meaning for contemportary America of the lives of the newly freed slaves and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. 35,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780375402593
Characteristics: xxx, 268 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Brown, Joshua 1949-
Forever Free, Inc


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Nov 19, 2016

I love this book I thought the writing of this book has good pacing I was never bore good accurate stories. the illistrations were good pictures excellent.

Jan 21, 2015

In this collaboration between Eric Foner and Joshua Brown, Foner provides the narrative and Brown adds pictorials and political cartoons throughout the text that are appropriate for the narrative. In addition, Brown adds six essays along about pictorials and political cartoons that are appropriate to six periods in the historical sequence from slavery thru the dismantling of the post Civil War Reconstruction. While the stories about the abolitionists and the politicians that were fighting for emancipation and the elimination of discrimination against the slaves and freedmen are uplifting, probably most of America’s whites will have difficulty in believing how bad slavery and discrimination really was and still is. Many will be in a state of denial, just as much of the German populace is in with relationship to the treatment of Jews in WWII.


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