Nonfiction Spotlight: EQUALITY by Charles Postel (8/21/19)

Prize-winning historian Charles Postel explores the roots of American social movements after the Civil War and their lessons for today in EQUALITY: An American Dilemma, 1866-1896.

The Civil War unleashed a torrent of claims for equality—in the chaotic years following the war, former slaves, women’s rights activists, farmhands, and factory workers all engaged in the pursuit of the meaning of equality in America. This contest resulted in experiments in collective action, as millions joined leagues and unions. In EQUALITY, Charles Postel demonstrates how taking stock of these movements forces us to rethink some of the central myths of American history.

“Historian Postel provides an excellent example of how broad topics can be researched and discussed with a balanced, rational perspective while also subtly drawing important, often new parallels between past and current situations… EQUALITY tracks a repeating cycle: when racial violence escalades, so, too, does erosion of civil rights while the gap between the haves and have-nots increases, all of which serve as catalysts for social movements in which people voice their concerns and fight for equality and justice. Informative and timely.“–Booklist

Read an excerpt here.

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