A Short History of Reconstruction; by Eric Foner
This is the beginning. A total overview of the Reconstruction era and it is written by one of the best history authors in the United States. It is on the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table Official Reading List and addresses every action and decision, characters both parasites and well intended progressives, and a political process flawed by greed and a change in Northern sentiment toward the future opportunities over the horizon and imbedded in the Westward expansion. It illustrates the passion former slaves endorsed as free men in a land with lingering sentiment regarding their integration as complete citizens of the United States. This works stands alone as a primer for understanding and discussing the war after the War.