Books That Inspire 2005

Rehearsal for Reconstruction: the Port Royal experiment
Willie Lee Rose

The more I teach the two halves of American history the more I am convinced that the most important historical dynamics that operate on us are contained in the continuities and contrasts between the nation’s two great efforts to reckon with slavery and racism and to build a better society. I treasure Rehearsal for Reconstruction, published in 1964, because it captures so succinctly the complex knot of hopes and dilemmas that shaped the first Reconstruction of the 1860s and 1870s and inspired me to think more deeply about how they also shaped the second Reconstruction of the 1960s.
Ben Keppel
Associate Professor