Cover: A Fool’s Errand in PAPERBACK

A Fool’s Errand

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Product Details


$38.00 • £30.95 • €34.00

ISBN 9780674307513

Publication Date: 01/01/1961


436 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


Belknap Press

The John Harvard Library


Among the many admirable reprints issued by the John Harvard Library, one of the most welcome and attractive is this one-time best selling novel. Written by a carpetbagger following fourteen trying years (1865–1879) in the South, A Fool’s Errand not only reveals the thoughts of a carpetbagger on southern Reconstruction, but it remains one of the more perceptive descriptions of that puzzling fiasco as well as an enjoyable fictional tale. Professor Franklin’s introductory vignette satisfactorily establishes the author’s identity and the historical and ideological significance of his work… A Fool’s Errand is a significant and unusually original portrayal, criticism, and analysis of postwar southern society…it also offers excitement, idealism, and romance.The North Carolina Historical Review

The editor, John Hope Franklin, has written a helpful introduction [in which he] indicates the relevance of Tourgée’s book to the history of the time. Professor Franklin and his publisher are to be commended. They have made a significant book easily available, and in a much more attractive and readable format than that of any previous edition.History News

First published in 1879, A Fool’s Errand created much interest among readers and literary critics of the day and enjoyed, for a novel, a remarkable sale of some 200,000 copies. It is the story of Comfort Servosse, a Union officer, who at the end of the Civil War decides to make his home in the South. The author tells of Servosse’s reception there and the difficulties he and his family encounter in the trying years of Reconstruction…[as] a portrait of these tragic years, the novel is especially interesting.Library Journal

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