1. Robert Selph Henry, The Story of Reconstruction
A solid narrative history of the Reconstruction period from a master Southern historian.
2. E. Merton Coulter, South During Reconstruction, 1865-1877 (A History of the South)
Modern historians hate this book, particularly those who have subscribed to the Eric Foner thesis on Reconstruction, i.e. Reconstruction did not go far enough to punish treasonous Southerners. This is also a fine cultural history of the South and her people during this time.
3. William A. Dunning, Reconstruction Political & Economic 1865-1877
Dunning and his students set the standard for Reconstruction scholarship for much of the early 20th century. This book outlines how Reconstruction’s comprehensive tentacles affected all aspects of American life.
Considered by the current historical profession to be outdated and incorrect, these collections of primary materials relating to Reconstruction invalidate the modern (Foner led) narrative of the era.
5. Howard K. Beale, The Critical Year: A Study of Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction
Beale argues Reconstruction had a strong economic motivation. Not only does Beale indict the Radical agenda as being narrowly focused and corrupt, he resurrects Andrew Johnson’s presidency. This book was controversial when written and drives the modern historical establishment mad.