Undoubtedly American history’s most distorted period: the decade usually associated with the term “scalawags,” “carpetbaggers,” and “Negro domination,” is here given a new and penetrating analysis. The author presents Reconstruction as the second phase of the social upheaval inaugurated by the Civil War. He shows that a democratic revolution took place in the South where for a time popular rule replaced slave masters, as freedmen sought to realize the promise of full citizenship arising from the defeat of the slavocracy. Betrayal and counter-revolution, Allen holds, left for a later day the democratic transformation of the South. Allen’s long out of print Reconstruction: The Battle for Democracy, 1865-1876 is presented here with a new Foreword by renowned historian Eric Foner.