Winner of the 2005 J. David Greenstone Book Award from the Politics and History section of the American Political Science Association. Winner of the 2005 Ralph J. Bunche Award of the American Political Science AssociationWinner of the 2005 V.O. Key, Jr. Award of the Southern Political Science AssociationThe Reconstruction era marked a huge political leap for African AmeriWinner of the 2005 J. David Greenstone Book Award from the Politics and History section of the American Political Science Association. Winner of the 2005 Ralph J. Bunche Award of the American Political Science AssociationWinner of the 2005 V.O. Key, Jr. Award of the Southern Political Science AssociationThe Reconstruction era marked a huge political leap for African Americans, who rapidly went from the status of slaves to voters and officeholders. Yet this hard-won progress lasted only a few decades. Ultimately a "second reconstruction"—associated with the civil rights movement and the Voting Rights Act—became necessary. How did the first reconstruction fail so utterly, setting the stage for the complete disenfranchisement of Southern black voters, and why did the second succeed? These are among the questions Richard M. Valelly answers in this fascinating history. The fate of black enfranchisement, he argues, has been closely intertwined with the strengths and constraints of our political institutions. Valelly shows how effective biracial coalitions have been the key to success and incisively traces how and why political parties and the national courts either rewarded or discouraged the formation of coalitions. Revamping our understanding of American race relations, The Two Reconstructions brilliantly explains a puzzle that lies at the heart of America’s development as a political democracy....
|Title||:||The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement|
|Number of Pages||:||348 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement Reviews
A great text about a part of American history that is extraordinarily important but very easy to not know very much about unless you set out to specifically learn about it. Readable, informative, and credible book detailing the successes and ultimate failure of the first reconstruction, and then eventual successes of the next major civil rights push almost 100 years later. The one section of this book that really caught my attention was the discussion of why the Democratic Party became the party of civil rights when it had been the party of white supremacy ever since the Civil War. Valelly demonstrates that black migration out of the South and into northern cities was substantial by the 1930s, and that those voters were open to persuasion from a party that was willing to offer them some policy inducements. FDR began to modestly court this block of voters (basically by being somewhat less racist than his contemporaries) and soon it became apparent that Democrats could win with a broad coalition that included northern blacks but did not include the South. What is so valuable about this line of reasoning is that it allows us to abandon the notion that the Democratic Party embraced civil rights through the sheer goodness of their hearts. As a Democrat, I've always liked that particular self-serving fable, but I always also suspected it was probably oversimplified. It was, and Valelly shows us some of the more realistic factors that led to the change.And that change of course has been a defining turning point in American politics ever since.
Very thoroughly researched, very historical, and very interesting. The only major flaw was that he should have used bounded rationality rather than rational choice theory - there are irrational moments that RC can't explain, regardless of how you twist it, but that bounded rationality explains perfectly. However, as an historical-institutionalist view, it's very thorough and clear - even political neophytes can understand his theories and explanations.