Blight, David W. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001. The fullest account of changes in the memory of the Civil War, especially the willingness of white Northerners to marginalize the history of slavery and emancipation in the conflict.
Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877. New York: Harper and Row, 1988. A comprehensive history of Reconstruction with particular attention to labor and emancipation in the South.
Litwack, Leon F. Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery. New York: Vintage, 1980. A vivid chronicle of the experience of emancipation for black Southerners.
Perman, Michel. The Road to Redemption: Southern Politics, 1869–1879. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984. The clearest analysis of the national and state-level politics that produced the end of Reconstruction.
Ransom, Roger L. and Richard Sutch. One Kind of Freedom: The Economic Consequences of Emancipation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1977. A comprehensive economic analysis of the effects of the Civil War on the South.
Silber, Nina. The Romance of Reunion: Northerners and the South, 1865–1900. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993. An elegant study that emphasizes the cultural dimensions of the Northern shift toward reconciliation after the Civil War.
Published by Oxford University Press
Boritt, Gabor S., ed. Why the Confederacy Lost. A collection of essays by eminent Civil War scholars probing how the Union won the war on the battlefield.
Brown, Thomas J., ed. Reconstructions: New Perspectives on Postbellum America. Includes eight essays by young scholars surveying the literature on Reconstruction and laying out a path for future scholarship.
Cimbala, Paul A., and Randall M. Miller, eds. The Great Task Remaining Before Us: Reconstruction as America’s Continuing Civil War. A series of case studies that examines the links between wartime and the postwar world, exploring everything from women’s rights to demobilization to party politics.
Dudden, Faye E. Fighting Chance: The Struggle over Woman Suffrage and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction America. Explores the falling out and conflict between the leaders of the African American and women’s voting rights movements during the Reconstruction era.
Jaynes, Gerald David. Branches without Roots: Genesis of the Black Working Class in the American South, 1862–1882. Provides a history of the transition from slavery to sharecropping, showing how it helped both planters and freed people.
Rose, Willie Lee. Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment. A classic history of the early attempts at reconstruction on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and its effect on postwar policy.
The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War. Through letters, speeches, diaries, newspapers, census records, and more, this web site explores life in a northern and southern town during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Africans in America. Accompanying the PBS series of the same title, this web site provides information and various primary materials on African American life and culture from the 1400s to the end of the Civil War.