Symbolism In Beyond Redemption

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One question remained on the minds of those involved with the American Civil War: how can you rebuild a nation that was once hellbent on fighting one another? The idea of Reconstruction was created in hopes of doing just that. However, Reconstruction itself was not cut and dry. In fact, there were so many differing opinions that Reconstruction could not be categorized by any particular main theme. In Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War, Carole Emberton--assistant professor of history at the University of Buffalo--attempts to define the main ideologies surrounding the post-Civil War era by bringing to light how a thirst for violence provided the foundation for the “making of manhood, freedom, and …show more content…
Her main income of sources are scholarly articles and books, however, her shining moment is the use of images and quotes throughout Beyond Redemption. At the beginning of each chapter she has a quote directly following the title which leaves the reader with a look towards what the duration will be. Rather than act as a storyteller, Emberton takes up the role of tour guide, allowing the sources to show the true nature of the Reconstruction era. In the world today, we often find that many authors and scholars will shy away from the darker parts of history, yet, Emberton embraces the notion of violence and uses it as her main plan of attack on the large subject of Reconstruction. Beyond Redemption offers a view into the era that is strengthened due to her focus on how masculinity would define American citizens in the years to come. Her approach is supported by quotes and works from white and black citizens from the …show more content…
This work provides insight into how one would go about achieving the highest ideals of masculinity and the means of securing one’s political and social status in the post-Civil War America. Emberton solidifies the idea of martial manhood in her discussion on the violence that permeated the lives of those struggling to rebuild after the devastation of war. She best summarizes what the study of not only Reconstruction, but history itself, plainly as “an ongoing process, never complete, always imperfect, and certainly not easy” (216). Beyond Redemption deserves recognition and provides valuable information to scholars of life following the Civil

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