Books: Provocative Revisionist

THE ERA OF RECONSTRUCTION, 1865-1877 by Kennefh M. Stampp. 228 pages. Knopf. $4.95.

History has registered the Reconstruction as a monument to the vindictiveness of victory. Prostrate in defeat, the South played helpless host to its Northern plunderers, who not only despoiled the land but turned its government over to newly emancipated and ignorant slaves. Ever since, the South has rested part of its case against the Negroes on the fallout from this great Northern mistake. If only the conquerors had been understanding—so goes the argument—if only they had let Southern leaders work...

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