After Appomattox: How the South Won the War

Stetson Kennedy, Author
Stetson Kennedy, Author University Press of Florida $55 (321p) ISBN 978-0-8130-1341-1
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Kennedy (Jim Crow Guide), longtime civil rights activist and student of American racism, argues here that Union victory in the Civil War was almost immediately reversed. Taking full advantage of the federal government's postwar leniency toward their rebellion, unreconstructed Confederates instituted a reign of terror against blacks and their few white supporters. Kennedy documents his case largely with testimonials taken by a congressional committee in 1871-72. They describe a pattern of brutality essentially unchecked by the Union occupying forces. At the same time, the South opened an intellectual offensive that succeeded in convincing its conquerors, well before the Compromise of 1876 gave the Republicans the presidency, that segregation and white supremacy would benefit the entire reunited nation. This depressing account highlights the difficulties of ``reconstructing'' any society unconvinced of a need to change. Illustrations not seen by PW. (June)
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