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Men’s Book Group
Albion Tourgee’s novel A Fool’s Errand is a first-hand account of the repression by the South of newly freed slaves and the Yankee “carpetbaggers” during the Reconstruction Era.
Written in 1879, the novel covers the experiences of the fictional Servosse family who, like the actual Tourgee family, moved to the South immediately after the Civil War. The family provided housing, jobs, and education to the former slaves who lived on the plantation that the Servosse family now owned. Southerners react first with suspicion and then anger. When the father publicly speaks out against slavery and is elected to the state constitutional convention, which grants full voting rights and legal equality to former slaves, the hostility becomes violent. The book is memorable as it is a contemporaneous and personal account of the Reconstruction Era and its immediate aftermath by an author who lived through it.
While the Servosse family’s hopes are crushed when Reconstruction ends and the Jim Crow South emerges, Tourgee refuses to concede that racial equality is forever doomed. Rather, he insists that the “star of hope” of racial justice may still be achieved by future generations. It took another 75 years for the Supreme Court to strike down segregation in public school, and much more remains to be done, but Tourgee would be pleased to know that the pursuit of justice remains passionately alive.
We hope you can join us at 7:30 on Wednesday, January 13 to discuss this book. The details for joining this Zoom meeting will be sent out by email. If you are not already on the Men’s Book Group mailing list, please email email@example.com to be added.