Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226024271 Published June 2013
E-book $7.00 to $36.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226024301 Published June 2013

Beyond Redemption

Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War

Carole Emberton

Carole Emberton

296 pages | 17 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2013
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226024271 Published June 2013
E-book $7.00 to $36.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226024301 Published June 2013
In the months after the end of the Civil War, there was one word on everyone’s lips: redemption. From the fiery language of Radical Republicans calling for a reconstruction of the former Confederacy to the petitions of those individuals who had worked the land as slaves to the white supremacists who would bring an end to Reconstruction in the late 1870s, this crucial concept informed the ways in which many people—both black and white, northerner and southerner—imagined the transformation of the American South.

Beyond Redemption explores how the violence of a protracted civil war shaped the meaning of freedom and citizenship in the new South. Here, Carole Emberton traces the competing meanings that redemption held for Americans as they tried to come to terms with the war and the changing social landscape. While some imagined redemption from the brutality of slavery and war, others—like the infamous Ku Klux Klan—sought political and racial redemption for their losses through violence. Beyond Redemption merges studies of race and American manhood with an analysis of post-Civil War American politics to offer unconventional and challenging insight into the violence of Reconstruction.

Frances S. Summersell Center / University of Alabama: Deep South Book Prize
Honorable Mention

View Recent Awards page for more award winning books.
Ohio Valley History
"[Beyond Redemption] stands as the first book on this subject to attempt a broad understanding of violence’s awful functions rather than seeing it as an aberration of the legitimate political process. . . . Emberton’s study will thus remain an important contribution to the history of Reconstruction and its uninterrupted relevance in our present."
The North Carolina Historical Review
"Beyond Redemption largely succeeds in establishing the importance of redemption in shaping postwar political and social action."
Civil War Monitor
“Beyond Redemption is an important work, particularly noteworthy for providing a new perspective on a historical period with a robust historiography. . . .  a fascinating and challenging study.”
Jane Dailey | author of Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Post-Emancipation Virginia
“A deeply researched and ambitious combination of political and cultural history, Beyond Redemption is a powerful and searching exploration of the violent aftermath of the Civil War in the Deep South. Carole Emberton’s dedication to telling individual stories and her discussion of the multiple meanings of the suffering bodies of the freed people puts terror and its markers at the center of Deep South politics in this era. At the same time, her dissection of the evolving relationship of federal and state power in the aftermath of a nationalizing war, and her entry-point to this discussion—collective and individual violence—are original and illuminating. Her assertion that ‘pity and citizenship were incompatible’ provokes an intriguing question that almost no political historian would think to ask.”
Amy Louise Wood | Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890–1940
“Carole Emberton has written an imaginative study of the myriad ways in which Americans, black and white, grappled with pain and suffering in the bloody aftermath of the Civil War and sought to create and communicate meaning through acts of violence. Complex and nuanced, Beyond Redemption shows that, during Reconstruction, notions of freedom, citizenship, and the role of government were forged through a public reckoning with this violence and its meanings. It is, in short, an exceptional and exciting history of Reconstruction.”
Stephen Kantrowitz | More than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829–1889
“In this impressive reframing of redemption as a period and a process, Carole Emberton poses important questions about the place of violence in Americans’ social experiences and political imaginations.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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