Preview: White, “The Republic for Which It Stands”

6 09 2017

6127ca7ZUKL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Just in from Oxford University Press is Richard White’s The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896. This is (quantitatively, not qualitatively) a doorstop at 872 pages of narrative. White is the author of Railroaded; The Middle Ground; and A New History of the American West.

A quick look-through is reminiscent – in layout, at least – of Walter McDougall’s Throes of Democracy. Keep in mind, this is not a history of Reconstruction, or of The Gilded Age, but rather of America during those periods, just like the post-colon title says. It’s divided into three parts: Reconstructing the Nation; The Quest of for Prosperity; The Crisis Arrives. Per Publisher’s Weekly, White’s “account’s central focus is public affairs and he foregrounds the West and its native tribes, farmers, workers, and cities; his astute examination of the ‘greater Reconstruction of the West’ works as a counterpoint to the failures of Southern Reconstruction.” That last bit is a theme that also runs through my current reading Thunder in the Mountains, a study of O. O. Howard and Nez Perce Chief Joseph.

So, you’re going to have to set aside a good bit of time if you choose to bite into this one. In the yay department, footnotes are real, bottom of the page footnotes. In the boo department, the book includes a 29 page bibliographic essay only. Wave of the future, I guess.



3 responses

6 09 2017
Bob Huddleston

Harry, you have some broken links on this! After getting the dread 404, I clicked Home and got the preview.

The book itself is a “continuation” of the Oxford History: Howe, _What Hath God Wrought, 1815-1848_ , and McPherson, _Battle Cry, 1848-1865_. I had wondered if they would ever complete the series!



6 09 2017
Harry Smeltzer

Hi Bob – I just clicked on all the links and they worked for me, so I’m not sure what the problem is. Also, it looks like Oxford includes Wood’s “Empire of Liberty (1789-1815)” and Kennedy’s “Freedom From Fear (1929-1945)” in this series.


6 09 2017
Bob Huddleston

!@#%&*!!! They weren’t working a little while ago! :>(


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