The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution

Eric Foner (Author)


An authoritative history by the preeminent scholar of the Civil War era, The Second Founding traces the arc of the three foundational Reconstruction amendments from their origins in antebellum activism and adoption amidst intense postwar politics to their virtual nullification by narrow Supreme Court decisions and Jim Crow state laws. Today these amendments remain strong tools for achieving the American ideal of equality, if only we will take them up.

Product Details

$17.95  $16.51
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
August 11, 2020
5.5 X 8.3 X 0.8 inches | 0.5 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Eric Foner is the author of many award-winning books on the Civil War and Reconstruction, including The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He is DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University.


Disciplined, powerful and moving.... [An] important book.--Lincoln Caplan
Lucid and succinct.--John Fabian Witt
Sometimes a book makes you reconsider a subject you've studied all of your adult life.--Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent
As the dean of Reconstruction studies, Foner is the ideal scholar to produce a history of the three amendments added to the Constitution during the period--amendments so powerful as to justify the book's title.--James Oakes
Mr. Foner makes his case with brio and erudition.--Fergus M. Bordewich
In this moment, indeed in any, Eric Foner's new book is uncommonly valuable.--W. Fitzhugh Brundage
The Second Founding... demonstrates [Foner's] talent at unearthing insights about the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, in particular how Americans defined and acted on the ideals of freedom and democracy.... [He writes] in what another eminent historian, Christopher Lasch, called 'plain style' direct and vivid prose without a trace of specialized language, which anyone with a passing interest in the subject can read, learn from, and enjoy.--Michael Kazin