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Posted at 9:24 AM ET, 11/30/2010

Lonnie G. Bunch: What are the best new Civil War books?

By Lonnie G. Bunch

Founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.


There are so many books on the Civil War that it’s hard to keep up, but one of the books that I’ve read recently is “The Bloody Shirt: Terror After Appomattox” by Stephen Budiansky.

This is a book that really talks about the legacy of the Civil War and the fact that the war ended at Appomattox, but the battle for racial justice continued and it was a bloody and violent battle. It really raises the issue that terrorism has always been a part of the American landscape. In this case, it was southern Americans expressing there dissatisfaction with losing the war through violence and terror on African Americans. I think it’s one of the most important new books because it really helps us understand the role that violence played in limiting the aspirations and the expectations of the Freedmen immediately after the Civil War.

By Lonnie G. Bunch  | November 30, 2010; 9:24 AM ET
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