Add news
March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022May 2022June 2022July 2022August 2022September 2022October 2022November 2022December 2022January 2023February 2023March 2023April 2023May 2023June 2023July 2023August 2023September 2023October 2023November 2023
News Every Day |

“To Reconstruct The Nation”: Special issue of The Atlantic examines America’s most radical experiment and its aftermath

The Atlantic is releasing in full “To Reconstruct The Nation,” a special issue that, as editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg writes today, is “meant to examine the enduring consequences of Reconstruction’s tragic fall at a moment—­yet another moment—when the cause of racial progress faces sustained pressure.”

The centerpiece of the issue, which is led by senior editor Vann R. Newkirk II, is a new feature-length play by the actor, playwright, and Atlantic contributing writer Anna Deavere Smith, which appears along with essays by writers, historians, and scholars including Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie G. Bunch III, Jordan Virtue, Peniel E. Joseph, Drew Gilpin Faust, Eric Foner, and The Atlantic’s Vann R. Newkirk II, Adam Harris, and Yoni Appelbaum.

The issue arrives 157 years after The Atlantic published Frederick Douglass’s famed essay on “Reconstruction,” and explores the fleeting time after the Civil War when the country undertook a radical transformation in an effort to become a true democracy. But the backlash against Reconstruction, and its effective end in 1877, prevented its proponents from achieving their aspirations. This issue addresses how the intense battles currently being waged in our politics and culture—over voting rights, access to education, criminal justice, and what it means to have equal protection under the law—can all trace their roots to the unfinished business of Reconstruction.

Anna Deavere Smith’s play, This Ghost of Slavery, runs across 32 pages and is the first play The Atlantic has published in nearly a century. Set in Baltimore and Annapolis in the 1850s-60s and the present, the play explores the power of historical trauma to persist for generations. It interrogates the contemporary failures of our juvenile justice system, (“How did we get here?” one character repeatedly asks), finding the origins of the problem in the aftermath of emancipation, when former slaveowners in Maryland used the state’s “Black Code” to immediately re-indenture children under the guise of “apprenticeship.” This functionally extended slavery for adolescents. As with much of Deavere Smith’s work, the play draws from her own contemporary interviews with activists, social-justice workers, and young people whose lives have been affected by the carceral system.

For This Ghost of Slavery, she supplemented these interviews with primary-source historical materials, mining 19th-century archives, transcripts, and diaries, and has woven dialogue from these historical sources into the play, which features historical figures such as President Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, General Lew Wallace, and Elizabeth Turner, whose court case brought by her mother against her enslaver turned out to be a hinge on which history turned.

The result is a searing drama of great emotional and historical complexity set in two time periods. The play brings history vividly (and at times painfully) to life, makes plain the injustices meted out to Black Americans across centuries, and allows readers to see anew the connections between past and present.

“To Reconstruct the Nation” includes the following pieces, all online today:

Lonnie G. Bunch III: “The Archive of Emancipation
In the papers of the Freedmen’s Bureau, Lonnie G. Bunch III, the secretary of the Smithsonian, found the hopes and disappointments of a people on the cusp of freedom—including his own family’s. Bunch explores a public transcription and digitization project that is making much of the Freedmen’s Bureau documents available widely for the first time, and what it tells us about the lives of enslaved people, especially after freedom.

Vann R. Newkirk II: “The Years of Jubilee
In 1871, the choir of the struggling Fisk University engaged in a gambit to save the school: It decided to go on a singing tour of America. Senior editor Vann R. Newkirk II writes about how the choir achieved more than its members could have imagined.

David W. Blight: “The Annotated Frederick Douglass
In 1866, at the dawn of Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass published an essay in The Atlantic wrestling with the promise of the moment and the shortcomings he could already anticipate. Reprinted in full for the December issue, the essay is newly annotated by Douglass’s biographer David W. Blight.

Jordan Virtue: “Kennedy and the Lost Cause
In his 1956 book, Profiles in Courage, future president John F. Kennedy promoted the southern mythology of Reconstruction, praising a racist, slave-holding senator while tarnishing the reputation and legacy of his political rival, Adelbart Ames, an ardent supporter of Black suffrage and Mississippi’s governor during Reconstruction. Virtue writes about the efforts of Ames’s daughter throughout her life to correct the historical record and clear her father’s name. Profiles in Courage remains, as of now, uncorrected.

Adam Harris: “The Black Roots of American Education
Staff writer Adam Harris writes about how freedpeople and their advocates persuaded the nation to embrace public schooling for all.

Yoni Applebaum: “The Atlantic and Reconstruction
Deputy editor Yoni Applebaum writes about what The Atlantic got wrong in 1901, when the magazine last reckoned with Reconstruction in a sustained way.

Drew Gilpin Faust: “The Men Who Started the War
John Brown and the Secret Six—the abolitionists who funded the raid on Harpers Ferry—confronted a question as old as America: When is violence justified?

Peniel E. Joseph: “The Revolution Never Ended
The federal government abandoned Reconstruction in 1877, but, Peniel Joseph writes, Black people didn’t give up on the moment’s promise.

Eric Foner: “A Traitor to the Traitors
The Reconstruction scholar Eric Foner writes about how—and why—the Confederate general James Longstreet became a champion of Reconstruction.

The Atlantic’s December issue is published today at Please reach out with any questions or requests to interview the issue’s contributors.

Press Contacts:
Anna Bross and Paul Jackson | The Atlantic

Новости 24 часа

Шапки женские вязаные на Wildberries, зима 2024 — новый цвет от 392 руб. (модель 466)

Infinity according to Jorge Luis Borges - Ilan Stavans

How to Increase Your Metabolism After 40 (science-based)

10 Influencer Meltdowns Caught on Camera

Medivh's Story (2020) The Last Guardian - All Cinematics & Cutscenes [Warcraft 3: Reforged Lore]

Read also

Yad Vashem has turned itself into a school for children whose communities were attacked on Oct. 7

Cat adoption ad goes viral for its refreshing honesty: 'She will own you, your house, your belongings'

Seplat, Insurance stocks drive equity market N132bn gain

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on

News Every Day

Infinity according to Jorge Luis Borges - Ilan Stavans — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here

News Every Day

Infinity according to Jorge Luis Borges - Ilan Stavans

Sports today

Новости тенниса
Арина Родионова

Уроженка Тамбова Арина Родионова выиграла турнир по теннису в Португалии

Спорт в России и мире

"Спартак" в меньшинстве уступил "Оренбургу" в 1/4 финала Кубка России

All sports news today

Sports in Russia today


Долгожданная победа: ФК «Оренбург» обыграл на своем поле ФК «Спартак» (Москва) – 1:0

Новости России

Game News

Шапки женские на Wildberries (вайлдберриз) — зимние новинки 2024 (модель 351)


Музей-заповедник «Бородинское поле» представит межмузейный выставочный проект «Освобождение Европы…»

Губернаторы России

Провокаторы из AVIA.PRO распространяют подлую ложь… якобы «во Франции готовят солдат из Армении для их участия в войне против России...»

Суд Москвы заочно арестовал пресс-секретаря корпорации Meta* Энди Стоуна

Тёплые вязаные капоры женские на Wildberries (вайлдберриз) — от 698 руб. купить сегодня

Московский зоопарк рассказал о лечении орангутана Джелая

Шапки женские вязаные на Wildberries, зима 2024 — новый цвет от 392 руб. (модель 466)

«Оркестр подошел к точке, за которой начинается новый этап его биографии» // Алексей Шалашов о Молодежном симфоническом оркестре

Оксана Федорова, Михаил Брызгалов, Альберт Жалилов и другие деятели культуры наградили победителей III Международного конкурса юных музыкантов «Моя Россия: музыкальное путешествие» в Музее музыки!

"Сиди в Америках и не отсвечивай": Русские раскритиковали Орбакайте, которая собралась в Россию

Во Владикавказе стартовал музыкальный фестиваль, посвящённый 150-летию со дня рождения Сергея Рахманинова

Российский теннисист Медведев установил рекорд 2023 года по количеству побед

ATP и WTA исчезнут? В теннисе назревает грандиозная революция из-за саудовских денег

Казахстанский теннисист взлетел в рейтинге ATP

Сборная Италии во второй раз в истории выиграла Кубок Дэвиса, обыграв в финале Австралию

Первенство по плаванию среди детей

«СМИротворец» наградил своих лауреатов

Шапки женские на Wildberries (вайлдберриз) — зимние новинки 2024 (модель 351)

Шапки женские вязаные на Wildberries, зима 2024 — новый цвет от 392 руб. (модель 466)

Дочь Пугачевой Орбакайте решила вернуться в РФ и возмутила россиян

В России прошел концерт Арбениной после нескольких отмен ее шоу

Экс-тренер "Спартака" Гладилин: задача Абаскаля - попасть в лидирующую тройку

Baza: «Мисс Москва» Семеренко заплатила более 1 млн руб. за победу в «Мисс Мира»

Козлов: РФ и КНДР работают над увеличением двустороннего турпотока

Порядка 11 тысяч рабочих мест создадут в Лианозове по программе КРТ

На Новый год в отелях Подмосковья цены выросли на 30-125% и сравнялись с all inclusive в Турции

Депутат ГД Кирьянов: ИП в России могут исчезнуть в 2029 году

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости
Жанна Фриске

Маша Распутина: «Никогда не слышала о покойной Жанне Фриске»

News Every Day

Infinity according to Jorge Luis Borges - Ilan Stavans

Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости

Персональные новости