Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War
Nicholas Lemann's book, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War, is a great book that describes in detail the pain and destruction that many southern blacks were put through in the late 1800s. Adelbert Ames is the main character in this book and the chief protagonist. Ames is Mississippi's reconstruction governor as he was elected in a land slide election because of all the support he had from ex-slaves. Once he was in office, Ames had many changes intact for the state of Mississippi. His main plan was to create a well structured public school system to help out all citizens that suffered with poverty and illiteracy.
I believe that Ames is effective in the role of the protagonist. He is definitely the main character of the book because Lemann bases the book around his family and his life. Ames seems to be an extremely compassionate person for the southern blacks. Even though at first he still had some of the same racial prejudices that most American whites had. Ames is effective at his role as the protagonist though because he is doing everything in his power to make life better for the blacks in Mississippi. This quote shows that Ames cares for the freedom of the blacks as he says, “That is my conviction, that I might be of use and advantage to the colored people of the State in securing their actual freedom”(55).
Ames had not even hardly gotten moved into the state of Mississippi before he already had something to worry about. Democratic whites in Vicksburg were not happy because black majorities were able to get Republicans elected to the county and municipal offices. Whites created all kinds of problems that summer to try and keep blacks away from the election polls in August. Ames tried to get President Grant to send military troops but he had a hard time convincing him. I sympathize with Ames in this situation because he is doing everything in his power to control this. He has had to leave his...
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