Front cover image for The failed promise : Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass, and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson

The failed promise : Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass, and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson

Robert S. Levine (Author)
"The absorbing narrative of Frederick Douglass's heated struggle with President Andrew Johnson reveals a new perspective on Reconstruction's demise. When Andrew Johnson rose to the presidency after Abraham Lincoln's assassination, African Americans were optimistic that Johnson would pursue aggressive federal policies for Black equality. Just a year earlier, Johnson had cast himself as a "Moses" for the Black community. Frederick Douglass, the country's most influential Black leader, increasingly doubted the president was sincere in supporting Black citizenship. In a dramatic meeting between Johnson and a Black delegation at the White House, the president and Douglass came to verbal blows over the fate of Reconstruction. Their animosity only grew as Johnson sought to undermine Reconstruction and conciliate leaders of the former Confederate states. Robert S. Levine grippingly recounts the conflicts that led to Johnson's impeachment from the perspective of Douglass and the wider Black community. In counterpointing the lives and careers of Douglass and Johnson, Levine offers a fresh vision of the lost promise and dire failure of Reconstruction"-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2021
First edition View all formats and editions
W. W. Norton & Company, New York, NY, 2021
Informational works
xxii, 312 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
9781324004752, 1324004754
ebook version :
Prologue: Lincoln's Second Inauguration
Southern Unionist
The Mission of the War
"Abraham Lincoln Dies, the Republic Lives"
"There Is No Such Thing as Reconstruction"
A Moses in the White House
The Black Delegation Visits a Moses of Their People
The President's Riots
Shadowing Johnson, Defying the Loyalists
Sources of Danger to the Republic
A Job Offer
The Trials of Impeachment
"Demented Moses of Tennessee"
Epilogue: "We Have a Fight on Our Hands"
Appendix: Frederick Douglass on Reconstruction, Andrew Johnson, and the Constitution