This anthology brings together the late Barry A. Crouch's most important articles on the African American experience in Texas during Reconstruction. Grouped topically, the essays explore what freedom meant to the newly emancipated, how white Texans reacted to the freed slaves, and how Freedmen's Bureau agents and African American politicians worked to improve the lot of ordinary African American Texans. The volume also contains Crouch's seminal review of Reconstruction historiography, "Unmanacling Texas Reconstruction: A Twenty-Year Perspective." The introductory pieces by Arnoldo De Leon and Larry Madaras recapitulate Barry Crouch's scholarly career and pay tribute to his stature in the field of Reconstruction history.
"Barry Crouch was a pioneer revisionist whose work greatly influenced a new generation of Texas historians. . . . This anthology will appeal to many audiences, both academic and general. It will be an ideal reader for courses on Southern history, Texas history, and the history of African Americans. . . . This volume will also be controversial among laypeople and some scholars, especially among white Texans and other white Southerners. Many of them believe the Civil War is still raging and that old Dixie still has a chance to win. Their sacred cows, such as their view of ‘scalawags’ and ‘carpetbaggers,’ are confronted head on. Crouch might become the man they love to hate.James"
Smallwood Oklahoma State University (emeritus), author of Murder and Mayhem: The War of Reconstruction in Texas (coauthored with Barry Crouch and Larry Peacock), Time of Hope, Time of Despair: Black Texans during Reconstruction, and The Struggle Upward: Blacks in Texas