The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic

Reconstruction, 1860-1920

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Pub Date 26 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 29 Feb 2024

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Description

A groundbreaking, expansive new account of Reconstruction that fundamentally alters our view of this formative period in American history.

We are told that the present moment bears a strong resemblance to Reconstruction, when freedpeople and the federal government attempted to create an interracial democracy in the south after the Civil War. That effort was overthrown and serves as a warning today about violent backlash to the mere idea of black equality. In The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic, acclaimed historian Manisha Sinha expands our view beyond the usual temporal and spatial bounds of Reconstruction (1865–1877) to explain how the Civil War, the overthrow of Reconstruction, the conquest of the west, labor conflict in the north, Chinese exclusion, women’s suffrage, and the establishment of an overseas American empire were part of the same struggle between the forces of democracy and those of reaction. Highlighting the critical role of black people in redefining American citizenship and governance, Sinha’s book shows that Reconstruction laid the foundation of our democracy.

About the Author: Manisha Sinha is the Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut. Her latest book, The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition, won the Frederick Douglass Book Prize among several others and was long listed for the National Book Award for Non-Fiction.

A groundbreaking, expansive new account of Reconstruction that fundamentally alters our view of this formative period in American history.

We are told that the present moment bears a strong...


Advance Praise

"Manisha Sinha’s magnificent account of Reconstruction fleshes out and vastly expands what W. E. B. Du Bois dubbed ‘abolition democracy.’ The Second Republic was never merely a Southern project but a national struggle with global implications. Black and Indigenous people, women and working people, abolitionists and their allies sought to reconstruct a settler colonial nation built on dispossession, slave power, industrial capitalism, and patriarchy. Energized by new visions of freedom nurtured in slave quarters and anti-slavery meetings, they fought long and hard for a genuinely inclusive democracy only to be crushed by the propertied classes, their acolytes, and dupes of racial ideology. Reconstruction’s defeat ensured Jim Crow’s assent as the law of the land and the ideology of colonial expansion. The January 6th insurrection is a consequence of this defeat, which will become crystal clear to anyone who reads this book." - Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

"A landmark. Sinha’s searing and revelatory account of Reconstruction redraws its borders, redefines its meaning, and restores its place as the hinge upon which American history turns." - Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States

"A big and bold book. Manisha Sinha's The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic is marked by deep learning, expansive thinking, and compelling arguments. Readers will find it illuminating, challenging, and thought-provoking. A significant contribution to a large and distinguished literature." - Steven Hahn, author of A Nation Without Borders: The United States and Its World in an Age of Civil Wars, 1830-1910

"Studded with significant events, compelling stories, and little-known historical actors, The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic is a sweepingly grand political history that traces the multiracial quest for ‘abolition democracy’ while expanding our understanding of the stakes and afterlives of the Reconstruction era. With this book, the award-winning historian Manisha Sinha has given us another magnificent take on a pivotal chapter of U.S. history." - Tiya Miles, author of All That She Carried

"Manisha Sinha’s magnificent account of Reconstruction fleshes out and vastly expands what W. E. B. Du Bois dubbed ‘abolition democracy.’ The Second Republic was never merely a Southern project but a...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781631498442
PRICE $39.99 (USD)
PAGES 544

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