Neither Carpetbaggers Nor Scalawags recounts events in post-Civil War Alabama, including political affairs and the attempts by the black population to carve out a social, educational, and economic existence during turbulent times after the end of slavery. It was a time of restrained joy, a time of jubilee, a time for building, especially a better way of living for the ex-slaves and their families. Many participated fully in the political process during the Reconstruction period. The stories of a number of black officeholders are told in this revised and reedited edition that includes an expanded index.
Historian Richard Bailey puts a focus on the role that black elected officials played in the tumult of Reconstruction, but also paints a stark and vivid portrait of life in those troubled times after the gunfire ended and 'peace' began. In the back of the book, Bailey provides a list of the officeholders, giving their status prior to the Civil War, their age, what office they held, where they were from, and other data. Researchers will find this chart alone a vital and valuable tool.
—Frank Sikora, The Birmingham News
Dr. Bailey is to be commended for this fine piece of historical research. It is not only factual but also well-written. Appendix A in the book lists the major black officeholders with such pertinent information as the county they represented, pre-war and post-war status, age, and other facts. Appendix B does the same thing for minor officeholders. Much can be made of this data alone.
—Dr. Ralph Bryson, Professor Emeritus, Alabama State University
Bailey chronicles the oft-misunderstood role that African American officeholders played in postwar Alabama. Historic photos punctuate the account, bringing more life to an already lively history.
—Lyn Miller-Lachman, Multicultural Review