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Comparative History

In response to:

Unfinished Business from the May 12, 1988 issue

To the Editors:

In my review of Eric Foner’s Reconstruction [NYR, May 12] I did the author an unintentional disservice that I wish to correct. In discussing the need for comparative dimensions in future revisions of reconstruction history, I had intended to mention the use of comparison that Foner made in an earlier book, Nothing But Freedom: Emancipation and Its Legacy (1983) and to say I wondered why he did not use this method in the larger work under review. In deciding to omit reference to this neglect, I forgot to make any reference whatever to the intelligent use he has already made of the comparative method, and left the impression that he was ignorant of it. He certainly was not.

C. Vann Woodward

New Haven, Connecticut

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