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Between the era of America's landmark antebellum compromises and that of the Compromise of 1877, a war had intervened, destroying the integrity of the Southern system but failing to determine the New South's relation to the Union. While it did not restore the old order in the South, or restore the South to parity with the Union, it did lay down the political foundations for reunion, bring Reconstruction to an end, and shape the future of four million freedmen. Originally published in 1951, this classic work by one of America's foremost experts on Southern history presents an important new interpretation of the Compromise, forcing historians to revise previous attitudes towards the Reconstruction period, the history of the Republican party, and the realignment of forces that fought the Civil War. Because much of the negotiating occurred in secrecy, historians have known less about this Compromise than others before it. Now reissued with a new introduction by Woodward, Reunion and Reaction gives us the other half of the story.
C. Vann Woodward is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. He is the author of many books, including Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel, The Battle for Leyte Gulf, Origins of the New South, The Burden of Southern History, and The Future of the Past.