One of the best things about working for PRI’s The World has been the opportunity to delve into historical topics amid my regular reporting duties. My history of Iraq series ran in 2003 just before the U.S.-led invasion. The following year I did a history of US-Iranian relations. This year I am working on a series about how wars end. One of the wars I am looking at is the Civil War. I’m especially interested in the political violence that occurred long after the war “ended” at Appomattox. My task is helped greatly by a slew of new or recent books on the topic including the following:


The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, and the Death of Reconstruction by LeeAnna Keith


The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, The Supreme Court and the Betrayal of Reconstruction by Charles Lane


Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War by Nicholas Lemann


The Bloody Shirt: Terror after Appomattox by Stephen Budiansky


This is history I didn’t know and am glad to learn.


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