"… [Kenneth M. Stampp] has woven the strands of a complicated story, and given the radical Reconstructionists a fair hearing without oversimplifying their motives. That this book is also excellent reading will not surprise those who know Mr. Stampp’s other distinguished works about the Civil War."
— Willie Lee Rose, The New York Times Book Review
"… [Mr. Stampp] knows his specialty holds vital information for our own time, and he feels an obligation to give it general currency, especially the Reconstruction years 1865-1877 where dangerous myths still abound. The result of his concern is this lucid, literate survey… Because he is not afraid to state opinions and to draw contemporary parallels, he has provided considerable matter for speculation, especially in regard to the ultimate cause of Radical failure to achieve equality for the Negro…"
— Martin Duberman, Book Week
"… Carefully and judiciously, Professor Stampp takes us over the old ground, dismantling one myth after another."
— Virginia Quarterly Review