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The Other American Revolution

Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction by Eric Foner

Reviewed by Steven Hahn
The New Republic Online

"Midway through his new book on emancipation and Reconstruction, Eric Foner remarks on how 'unanticipated events' — in this case, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln — 'profoundly shaped' the course of the era. Foner finds it 'inconceivable' that Lincoln, had he lived, 'would have so alienated Congress' as to have faced impeachment, and speculates that Lincoln and his fellow Republicans in Congress would likely have fashioned a Reconstruction plan 'more attuned to protecting the rights of the former slaves than the one [Andrew] Johnson envisioned, but less radical than the one Congress eventually adopted.'" Read the entire New Republic Online review.

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