Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama; by Walter Lynwood Fleming
Fleming is a noted Southern historian that published this work while a professor at Louisiana State University. He details the key events, actors, and the political and social environment and decisions that paint such a dark spot on the culture and evolution of the Southern society. Many regard this work as the baseline for study of Reconstruction as a whole and Reconstruction in Alabama specifically. His analysis is based on key topics and individuals rather than sequentially addressing events over time. Consequently, there are redundancies but they are essential to understanding the circumstances driving the political and social developments of the period. Some reviewers regard his assessment as glorifying the Lost Cause myth a little too much and others indicate his assessment is balanced holding the principle political parties responsible for events. His work does not support the “Birth of A Nation” illustration of African American law makers and office holders as bumbling buffoons although admitting some were not literate and bantered to the gallery of onlookers in the balcony of Congress. He also does not address the Ku Klux Klan as indiscriminate wandering bands of terrorists although under today’s standards the description fits. For those interested in details seldom found regarding Reconstruction this book is the place to start and it can be found on the internet and downloaded for free. Google the title and down load the volume, then use the next month learning about reconstruction in Alabama.