Staff Pick

For all the faults of the Reconstruction period, which failed in its post-Civil War attempt to put America on a racially egalitarian footing, it did produce three very significant amendments to the Constitution, the full promise of which has yet to be realized. That’s the basic argument made by Eric Foner, a Bancroft- and Pulitzer Prize-winning scholar, in his compelling and deeply researched The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution (W.W. Norton, $26.95). The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, the 14th constitutionalized the principle of birthright citizenship and equality before the law, and the 15th aimed to secure Black male suffrage. But as pivotal as these measures were in incorporating the principle of equality in the Constitution, they were subsequently undermined by Supreme Court decisions and state actions. The Jim Crow system followed, and only decades later, well into the 20th century, did the U.S. make renewed strides toward realizing the concepts of racial equality, due process, and individual rights reflected in the Reconstruction amendments. Foner argues that even more potential remains in these Constitutional provisions to realize the promise of equal citizenship for all.

The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393652574
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 17th, 2019

Staff Pick

As he did in his trilogy about the Allied triumph in Europe during World War II, Rick Atkinson brings extensive research, keen attention to detail, and narrative elegance to the telling of yet another
grand conflict—this time, the American Revolution. The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (Holt, $40) is the first of three volumes that Atkinson plans to write about the war for America, and it’s another magnifi cent history, vividly and commandingly narrated, weaving together the perspectives of many characters high and low along with meaningful assessments of the action. Although much has been written about the American Revolution, no one had done a start-to-finish battle history for some time, and the actual experience of the war hadn’t
been made real to readers for many years—until now.

The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (The Revolution Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781627790437
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - May 14th, 2019

Staff Pick

Sidney Blumenthal, a veteran journalist and former high-level government advisor, has been making impressive progress writing a monumental series on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Volume one, A Self- Made Man, appeared just three years ago and dealt with the first forty years of Lincoln’s life, through his start as a lawyer, deepening interest in politics, growing confidence and skill as a public speaker, marriage to Mary Todd, a stint in the House of Representatives, and return to Springfield in 1849 to practice law. The second volume, Wrestling with His Angel, came out just a year later and focused on the period between 1849 and 1856, a sort of wilderness period for Lincoln after his fi rst exposure to national politics. Now in All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. III 1856-1860 (Simon & Schuster, $35), Blumenthal chronicles Lincoln’s political ascent, culminating in his election to the presidency. This was an extraordinarily tumultuous time in U.S. history, and Blumenthal explores extensively a number of seminal events surrounding Lincoln as he re-enters the political spotlight.

All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. III, 1856-1860 Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781476777283
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 3rd, 2019

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