The historical literature on the era of Emancipation and Reconstruc- tion can be best approached through several influential historio- graphical essays. Among the most important are Howard K. Beale, “On Rewriting Reconstruction History,” American Historical Review (1940); Bernard A. Weisberger, “The Dark and Bloody Ground of Reconstruction Historiography,” Journal of Southern History (1959); and Herman Belz, “The New Orthodoxy in Reconstruction Historiography,” Reviews in American History (1973). Two surveys of the literature on the period appeared in the 1980s, John Hope Franklin's presidential address, “Mirror for Americans: A Century of Reconstruction History,” American Historical Review (1980) and Eric Foner's “Reconstruction Revisited,” Reviews in American His- tory (1982).
Readers might want to consult several recent books that can serve as introductions to the era of Emancipation and Reconstruction. The major textbook treatment of the Civil War period in American history is the classic The Civil War and Reconstruction, published by James G. Randall in 1937 and revised by David H. Donald in 1960.