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Book discussion and signing with ‘The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era’ author set for Feb. 23 at WCNY

WCNY, will host a book discussion and signing with Le Moyne College professor Douglas Egerton. Egerton will discuss his new book The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era at 2 p.m. Feb. 23 at 415 W. Fayette St. in Syracuse.

The event is free and open to the public. Street parking is available.

The book tells the stories of hundreds of African-American activists and officeholders who risked their lives for equality, in the face of murderous violence years after the Civil War.

Previous histories of reconstruction have focused on Washington politics. In this narrative, Egerton brings a much bigger, even more dramatic story into view, exploring state and local politics and tracing the struggles of some fifteen hundred African-American officeholders, in both the north and south, who fought entrenched white resistance. Tragically, their movement was met by ruthless violence—not just riotous mobs, but also targeted assassination. With stark evidence, Egerton shows that Reconstruction, often cast as a “failure” or a doomed experiment, was rolled back by murderous force.The Wars of Reconstruction” is a major and provocative contribution to American history.

Egerton is a professor of history at Le Moyne College. He is the author of six books, including Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the Election That Brought on the Civil War, He Shall Go Out Free: The Lives of Denmark Vesey, Gabriel’s Rebellion: The Virginia Slave Conspiracies of 1800 and 1802, and Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America. He has also written numerous essays and reviews regarding race in early America, some of which have appeared in the Boston Sunday Globe and the Nation, and appeared on the PBS series “Africans in America” (1998) and “This Far by Faith” (2002).

Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

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