"A detailed narrative, gracefully and engagingly written . . . This excellent piece of scholarship belongs among the best recent studies of the Reconstruction era."
—History: Reviews of New Books
"Cimbala's in-depth look at the operations of the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia provides a useful corrective to those inclined to judge the bureau harshly."
"Diligent primary source research, keen analysis, and a fine narrative style are blended here to produce the definitive work on the Bureau
. . . in Georgia."
—Florida Historical Quarterly
"Cimbala gives us a valuable account of the workings of the Bureau on the local level in the agency's declining days."
—Journal of Southern History
"Well-researched . . . A useful addition to Reconstruction scholarship."
—American Historical Review
"One of the most balanced, objective, and detailed studies available on the subject."
—North Carolina Historical Review
"This is an excellent institutional history; indeed, it is the most detailed state study of the Freedman's Bureau to date."
The ineffectiveness of the Bureau in Georgia and other southern states has often been blamed on the racism of its northern administrators, but Paul A. Cimbala finds the explanation to be much more complex. In this remarkably balanced account, he blames the failure on a combination of the Bureau's northern free-labor ideology, limited resources, and temporary nature--as well as deeply rooted white southern hostility toward change. Because of these factors, the Bureau in practice left freedpeople and ex-masters to create their own new social, political, and economic arrangements.
Read more about the Freedmen's Bureau at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
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