Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction
Written by Eric Foner with visual essays by Joshua Brown, Forever Free is a new examination of the vitally important years of Emancipation and Reconstruction during and immediately following the Civil War--a necessary reconsideration that emphasizes the era’s political and cultural meaning for today’s America. Foner overturns numerous assumptions growing out of the traditional understanding of the period, which is based almost exclusively on white sources and shaped by (often unconscious) racism. He presents the period as a time of determination, especially on the part of recently emancipated black Americans, to put into effect the principles of equal rights and citizenship for all. Joshua Brown’s illustrated commentary on the era’s graphic art and photographs complements the narrative. He offers a unique portrait of how Americans envisioned their world and time. Forever Free is an essential contribution to our understanding of the events that fundamentally reshaped American life after the Civil War--a persuasive reading of history that transforms our sense of the era from a time of failure and despair to a threshold of hope and achievement.