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Reconstruction: America’s most radical experiment

Courtesy of The Atlantic

We take a deep dive into The Atlantic’s issue-long examination of Reconstruction — the period that followed the American Civil War. It examines the parallels between then and now, considers how that period in our history should be taught, and reminds us what the era promised, what it did and did not deliver, and how it created American public education.

In the magazine's December issue, The Atlantic senior editor Vann Newkirk has helped bring together some of the country’s greatest thinkers and writers on the subject, with the issue arguing that the intense battles currently being waged in our politics and culture — over voting rights, access to education, and what it means to have equal protection under the law — all have roots in the Reconstruction era, with much of that history remaining unfinished today.

We also hear from The Atlantic staff writer Adam Harris who contributed to the project and wrote about "How Reconstruction Created American Public Education: Freedpeople and their advocates persuaded the nation to embrace schooling for all."


Adam Harris, staff writer for The Atlantic
Vann Newkirk, senior editor for The Atlantic

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Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.