Checks and Balance: The unfinished revolution

After the defeat of the Confederacy and the end of slavery in 1865, the period known as Reconstruction was a chance to create a multiracial democracy and for America to live up to the promise made at its founding. It ended in failure. But in establishing the idea that the federal government should act as a guarantor of individual liberties it planted the seeds of that democracy. America’s second revolution remains unfinished.


Our end-of-year special episode asks what the history of Reconstruction reveals about 2020’s reckoning on race. 


We talk to Eric Foner, the leading historian of Reconstruction, Kimberlé Crenshaw of the African American Policy Forum, and Aderson Francois, a Georgetown law professor.


John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.


For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod


 

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