Reconstruction has been called one of the most tumultuous and controversial periods of Arkansas’s history. While tens of thousands of books have been written about the American Civil War, the tense period that followed the war has received relatively little attention until recently.

The story of this period in Arkansas is related in a new book, "A Confused and Confusing Affair: Arkansas and Reconstruction," edited by Mark K. Christ, the community outreach director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, and just released from Little Rock-based Butler Center Books. Some of Arkansas’s leading historians offer valuable insights into Reconstruction in Arkansas and how its effects still resonate today.

In this collection of essays, Carl H. Moneyhon provides an overview of Reconstruction in the United States, Jay Barth explores post–Civil War politics, Blake Wintory discusses the African Americans who served in the Arkansas General Assembly, Kenneth C. Barnes gives insights into the political violence that convulsed the state, Thomas A. DeBlack unravels the Brooks-Baxter War and Rodney Harris explores the 1874 Constitution and its effects on Arkansas’s future political landscape.

The 284-page book includes 45 photos and illustrations. It retails for $39.95 in hardcover or $22.95 in paperback.

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