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Was slavery over when slaves gained formal emancipation? Was it over when the social, economic and political situation for African Americans no longer mimicked the conditions of slavery? If the Thirteenth Amendment abolished it in 1865, why did most of the disputed points during the Reconstruction debates of 1866-75 concern issues of slavery? In this book Pamela Brandwein examines the post-Civil War struggle between competing political and legal interpretations of slavery and Reconstruction to reveal how accepted historical truth was established.;Offering a fresh approach to the subject of original intent, ""Reconstructing Reconstruction"" should interest legal historians and scholars of constitutional law, American history, race and ethnicity, political theory and the sociology of law.