A 1919 Lithograph poster showing a young Booker T. Washington in Falls Church, Va. (Kate Patterson/for The Washington Post). Featured Image
As I recall from my distant youth, U.S. history texts dealt with the run-up to the Civil War, then the war itself, then the failure of Reconstruction, before moving on to the Gilded Age and progressive reform. But the failure of Reconstruction was not just a disembodied fact but also a planned and ruthless act of sabotage. As Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s new book, “Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow,” effectively reminds us, the period of history following the Civil War involved a violent campaign to reverse the social, political and economic outcomes of the conflict. And this effort — which southerners called “Redemption” — was successful in almost every respect.