Monday, January 16, 2006

"Hangover" may not be the right term but the effects are long lasting

I was in my local Border’s yesterday and I saw Eric Foner’s new book Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction. I did not pick it up opting instead to buy Bruce Levine’s Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves during the Civil War. Today however on Salon.com there is an extensive commentary/review on Foner’s book by Andrew O'Hehir regarding the far reaching implications that the failure of Reconstruction has had to this day. The article does a good job highlighting how through the needs of political expediency in the 19th century full realization of Civil Rights for all Americans has been delayed 150 years and is still a struggle today. The author does makes some sweeping and I think awkward connections between the racial/political divisions of the late 19th Century to the current “red state vs. blue state” cultural/political divisions we are seeing today, however I think O’Heier does good job in laying out an argument that shows how the effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction are still being felt today.

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