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Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War

by

Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"In Lemann's hands, the episode stands chillingly on its own, as an account of the possibilities that the Civil War and Reconstruction heralded, and of the failure of our democratic institutions to advance, or even to defend, those possibilities." Steven Hahn, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A century after Appomattox, the civil rights movement won full citizenship for black Americans in the South. It should not have been necessary: by 1870 those rights were set in the Constitution. This is the story of the terrorist campaign that took them away. Nicholas Lemann opens his extraordinary new book with a riveting account of the horrific events of Easter 1873 in Colfax, Louisiana, where a white militia of Confederate veterans-turned-vigilantes attacked the black community there and massacred hundreds of people in a gruesome killing spree. This was the start of an insurgency that changed the course of American history: for the next few years white Southern Democrats waged a campaign of political terrorism aiming to overturn the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and challenge President Grant'ssupport for the emergent structures of black political power. The remorseless strategy of well-financed "White Line" organizations was to create chaos and keep blacks from voting out of fear for their lives and livelihoods. Redemption is the first book to describe in uncompromising detail this organized racial violence, which reached its apogee in Mississippi in 1875.

Lemann bases his devastating account on a wealth of military records, congressional investigations, memoirs, press reports, and the invaluable papers of Adelbert Ames, the war hero from Maine who was Mississippi's governor at the time. When Ames pleaded with Grant for federal troops who could thwart the white terrorists violently disrupting Republican political activities, Grant wavered, and the result was a bloody, corrupt election in which Mississippi was "redeemed" — that is, returned to white control.

Redemption makes clear that this is what led to the death of Reconstruction — and of the rights encoded in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. We are still living with the consequences.

Review:

"Historians agree that Reconstruction was a conflict in which the good guys lost. Lemann (The Promised Land) hammers the point home with a grim account of post-Civil War Mississippi. His central figure is Adelbert Ames, a Union general and war hero who fought to preserve the Union, despised abolitionists and considered African-Americans an inferior race. Appointed provisional governor of postwar Mississippi, he was horrified at the violence that whites, a minority, used against blacks trying to vote. As military commander, he provided enough security to ensure a Republican victory in 1869 state elections (blacks voted Republican until the 1930s), became an advocate of civil rights and was elected senator in 1870 and governor in 1873. He worked hard to protect the freedmen but failed, and Lemann's description of the terror campaign against Mississippi blacks makes depressing reading. The book's title refers to the popular version of Reconstruction in which valiant Southern whites 'redeemed' their states from corrupt carpetbaggers and ignorant freedmen. Agreeing with recent scholars who consider this another Civil War myth, Lemann delivers an engrossing but painful account of a disgraceful episode in American history." Publishers Weekky (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Historians agree that Reconstruction was a conflict in which the good guys lost. Lemann (The Promised Land) hammers the point home with a grim account of post — Civil War Mississippi. His central figure is Adelbert Ames, a Union general and war hero who fought to preserve the Union, despised abolitionists and considered African-Americans an inferior race. Appointed provisional governor of postwar Mississippi, he was horrified at the violence that whites, a minority, used against blacks trying to vote. As military commander, he provided enough security to ensure a Republican victory in 1869 state elections (blacks voted Republican until the 1930s), became an advocate of civil rights and was elected senator in 1870 and governor in 1873. He worked hard to protect the freedmen but failed, and Lemann's description of the terror campaign against Mississippi blacks makes depressing reading. The book's title refers to the popular version of Reconstruction in which valiant Southern whites 'redeemed' their states from corrupt carpetbaggers and ignorant freedmen. Agreeing with recent scholars who consider this another Civil War myth, Lemann delivers an engrossing but painful account of a disgraceful episode in American history. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The principal meaning of 'redemption,' as defined by Webster, is 'deliverance from the bondage of sin: spiritual salvation,' and that is indeed the more or less universally accepted definition, one that includes 'expiation of guilt or wrong.' In the American South during Reconstruction, though, for many whites it took on an entirely opposite meaning, as defined by Nicholas Lemann: 'a divine sanction... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Historians and general readers will find his work scandalously engrossing." Library Journal

Review:

"A sobering account of the true end of Reconstruction, long suppressed in favor of the self-serving fairy tale peddled by the victors." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"In this grim, fascinating book, Lemann...argues that the Civil War didn't really end in 1865; instead, it simmered on for a decade until Southern whites won back much of what they had lost in the war. Lemann offers plenty of evidence to back up his assertion." Seattle Times

Synopsis:

Lemann opens his extraordinary new book with a riveting account of Easter 1873 in Colfax, Louisiana, where a white militia attacked the black community and massacred hundreds. For the next few years, white Southern Democrats waged a campaign of political terrorism aiming to overturn the 14th and 15th Amendments and challenge President Grant's support for the emergent structures of black political power.

Synopsis:

"An arresting piece of popular history." --Sean Wilentz, The New York Times Book Review
 
Nicholas Lemann opens this extraordinary book with a riveting account of the horrific events of Easter 1873 in Colfax, Louisiana, where a white militia of Confederate veterans-turned-vigilantes attacked the black community there and massacred hundreds of people in a gruesome killing spree. This began an insurgency that changed the course of American history: for the next few years white Southern Democrats waged a campaign of political terrorism aiming to overturn the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and challenge President Grant's support for the emergent structures of black political power. Redemption is the first book to describe in uncompromising detail this organized racial violence, which reached its apogee in Mississippi in 1875.
 

Synopsis:

Revisionist history at its best. A master Civil War historian re-creates the final year of our nationand#8217;s greatest crisis. WithTarnished Victory,William Marvel, whom Stephen Sears has called "the Civil Warand#8217;s master historical detective," concludes his sweeping four-part seriesand#8212;beginning with the Virginia and Atlanta campaigns in May 1864 and closing with the final surrender of Confederate forces in June 1865. In the course of that year the war grows ever more deadly, the home front is stripped to fill the armies, and the economy is crippled by debt and inflation, while the stubborn survival of the Confederacy seriously undermines support for Lincolnand#8217;s war. In the end, it seems that Lincolnand#8217;s early critics, who played such a pivotal role in the beginning of the series, are proven correct. Victory did require massive bloodshed and complete conquest of the South. It also required decades of occupation to cement the achievements of 1865, and the ultimate failure of Lincolnand#8217;s political heirs to carry through with that occupation squandered the most commendable of those achievements, making it ultimately a tarnished victory.

About the Author

Nicholas Lemann, dean of the School of Journalism at Columbia University, is the author of The Big Test and the prizewinning The Promised Land. He lives with his family in Pelham, New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374248550
Subtitle:
The Last Battle of the Civil War
Author:
Lemann, Nicholas
Author:
Marvel, William
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - Civil War
Subject:
United States - Reconstruction Period (1865-1877)
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Subject:
United States - State & Local - South
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
September 2006
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
32 b/w halftones, 6 maps
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » US History » 1860 to 1920
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century

Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374248550 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Historians agree that Reconstruction was a conflict in which the good guys lost. Lemann (The Promised Land) hammers the point home with a grim account of post-Civil War Mississippi. His central figure is Adelbert Ames, a Union general and war hero who fought to preserve the Union, despised abolitionists and considered African-Americans an inferior race. Appointed provisional governor of postwar Mississippi, he was horrified at the violence that whites, a minority, used against blacks trying to vote. As military commander, he provided enough security to ensure a Republican victory in 1869 state elections (blacks voted Republican until the 1930s), became an advocate of civil rights and was elected senator in 1870 and governor in 1873. He worked hard to protect the freedmen but failed, and Lemann's description of the terror campaign against Mississippi blacks makes depressing reading. The book's title refers to the popular version of Reconstruction in which valiant Southern whites 'redeemed' their states from corrupt carpetbaggers and ignorant freedmen. Agreeing with recent scholars who consider this another Civil War myth, Lemann delivers an engrossing but painful account of a disgraceful episode in American history." Publishers Weekky (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Historians agree that Reconstruction was a conflict in which the good guys lost. Lemann (The Promised Land) hammers the point home with a grim account of post — Civil War Mississippi. His central figure is Adelbert Ames, a Union general and war hero who fought to preserve the Union, despised abolitionists and considered African-Americans an inferior race. Appointed provisional governor of postwar Mississippi, he was horrified at the violence that whites, a minority, used against blacks trying to vote. As military commander, he provided enough security to ensure a Republican victory in 1869 state elections (blacks voted Republican until the 1930s), became an advocate of civil rights and was elected senator in 1870 and governor in 1873. He worked hard to protect the freedmen but failed, and Lemann's description of the terror campaign against Mississippi blacks makes depressing reading. The book's title refers to the popular version of Reconstruction in which valiant Southern whites 'redeemed' their states from corrupt carpetbaggers and ignorant freedmen. Agreeing with recent scholars who consider this another Civil War myth, Lemann delivers an engrossing but painful account of a disgraceful episode in American history. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "In Lemann's hands, the episode stands chillingly on its own, as an account of the possibilities that the Civil War and Reconstruction heralded, and of the failure of our democratic institutions to advance, or even to defend, those possibilities." (read the entire New Republic review)
"Review" by , "Historians and general readers will find his work scandalously engrossing."
"Review" by , "A sobering account of the true end of Reconstruction, long suppressed in favor of the self-serving fairy tale peddled by the victors."
"Review" by , "In this grim, fascinating book, Lemann...argues that the Civil War didn't really end in 1865; instead, it simmered on for a decade until Southern whites won back much of what they had lost in the war. Lemann offers plenty of evidence to back up his assertion."
"Synopsis" by , Lemann opens his extraordinary new book with a riveting account of Easter 1873 in Colfax, Louisiana, where a white militia attacked the black community and massacred hundreds. For the next few years, white Southern Democrats waged a campaign of political terrorism aiming to overturn the 14th and 15th Amendments and challenge President Grant's support for the emergent structures of black political power.
"Synopsis" by ,
"An arresting piece of popular history." --Sean Wilentz, The New York Times Book Review
 
Nicholas Lemann opens this extraordinary book with a riveting account of the horrific events of Easter 1873 in Colfax, Louisiana, where a white militia of Confederate veterans-turned-vigilantes attacked the black community there and massacred hundreds of people in a gruesome killing spree. This began an insurgency that changed the course of American history: for the next few years white Southern Democrats waged a campaign of political terrorism aiming to overturn the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and challenge President Grant's support for the emergent structures of black political power. Redemption is the first book to describe in uncompromising detail this organized racial violence, which reached its apogee in Mississippi in 1875.
 
"Synopsis" by , Revisionist history at its best. A master Civil War historian re-creates the final year of our nationand#8217;s greatest crisis. WithTarnished Victory,William Marvel, whom Stephen Sears has called "the Civil Warand#8217;s master historical detective," concludes his sweeping four-part seriesand#8212;beginning with the Virginia and Atlanta campaigns in May 1864 and closing with the final surrender of Confederate forces in June 1865. In the course of that year the war grows ever more deadly, the home front is stripped to fill the armies, and the economy is crippled by debt and inflation, while the stubborn survival of the Confederacy seriously undermines support for Lincolnand#8217;s war. In the end, it seems that Lincolnand#8217;s early critics, who played such a pivotal role in the beginning of the series, are proven correct. Victory did require massive bloodshed and complete conquest of the South. It also required decades of occupation to cement the achievements of 1865, and the ultimate failure of Lincolnand#8217;s political heirs to carry through with that occupation squandered the most commendable of those achievements, making it ultimately a tarnished victory.
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