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Second Founding

New York City, Reconstruction, and the Making of American Democracy

David Quigley

Hill and Wang

At the close of the Civil War, Americans found themselves drawn into a new conflict, one in which the basic shape of the nation's government had to be rethought and new rules for the democratic game had to be established. In this superb new study, David Quigley argues that New York City's politics and politicians lay at the heart of Reconstruction's intense, conflicted drama. In ways that we understand all too well today, New York history became national history.

The establishment of a postwar interracial democracy required the tearing down and rebuilding of many basic tenets of American government, yet, as Quigley shows in dramatic detail, the white supremacist traditions of the nation's leading city militated against a genuine revision of America's racial order, for New York politicians placed limits on the possibilities of true Reconstruction at every turn. Still, change did occur and a new America did take shape. Ironically, it was in New York City that new languages and practices for public life were developing which left an indelible mark on progressive national politics. Quigley's signal accomplishment is to show that the innovative work of New York's black activists, Tammany Democrats, bourgeois reformers, suffragettes, liberal publicists, and trade unionists resulted in a radical redefinition of reform in urban America.

REVIEWS

Praise for Second Founding

"In this fascinating study of New York, and the nation, Quigley sets the story of the Reconstruction struggle over democracy against a riveting, crucial backdrop: the streets of Manhattan." --Jill Lepore, Harvard University

"Second Founding is an elegantly written, important piece of scholarship that is sure to be widely read and praised. Quigley offers fascinating insights into New York City's history in the Civil War years and demonstrates the city's central place in the national debates on race and class that shaped the post-war era." --Tyler Anbinder, author of Five Points: The Nineteenth-Century New York City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections and Became the Worlds Most Notorious Slum
"In this fascinating study of New York, and the nation, Quigley sets the story of the Reconstruction struggle over democracy against a riveting, crucial backdrop: the streets of Manhattan." --Jill Lepore, Harvard University

"Second Founding is an elegantly written, important piece of scholarship that is sure to be widely read and praised. Quigley offers fascinating insights into New York City's history in the Civil War years and demonstrates the city's central place in the national debates on race and class that shaped the post-war era." --Tyler Anbinder, author of Five Points: The Nineteenth-Century New York City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections and Became the Worlds Most Notorious Slum

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • David Quigley

  • David Quigley, a graduate of Amherst College and New York University, teaches history at Boston College. This is his first book.
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    Second Founding

    New York City, Reconstruction, and the Making of American Democracy

    David Quigley

    • Trade Paperback

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    Hill and Wang

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