Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:
(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)
See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
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Black Reconstruction: An Essay Toward a History of the Part which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860–1880
(Library of America)
A definitive edition of the landmark book that forever changed our understanding of the Civil War’s aftermath and the legacy of racism in America
Upon publication in 1935, W.E.B. Du Bois’s now classic Black Reconstruction offered a revelatory new assessment of Reconstruction—and of American democracy itself. One of the towering African American thinkers and activists of the twentieth century, Du Bois brought all his intellectual powers to bear on the nation’s post-Civil War era of political reorganization, a time when African American progress was met with a white supremacist backlash and ultimately yielded to the consolidation of the unjust social order of Jim Crow.
Black Reconstruction is a pioneering work of revisionist scholarship that, in the wake of the censorship of Du Bois’s characterization of Reconstruction by the Encyclopedia Britannica, was written to debunk influential historians whose racist ideas and emphases had disfigured the historical record. “The chief witness in Reconstruction, the emancipated slave himself,” Du Bois argued, “has been almost barred from court. His written Reconstruction record has been largely destroyed and nearly always neglected.” In setting the record straight Du Bois produced what co-editor Eric Foner has called an “indispensable book,” a magisterial work of detached scholarship that is also imbued with passionate outrage.
Presented in a handsome and authoritative hardcover edition prepared by Foner and co-editor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Black Reconstruction is joined here for the first time with important writings that trace Du Bois’s thinking throughout his career about Reconstruction and its centrality in understanding the tortured course of democracy in America.
*** WATCH a conversation about this book…
Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith
"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior
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