D URING THE MONTHS at the Office of War Information, I conceived the notion of a book about black Reconstruction in the South, more specifically in South Carolina. A number of things led me in this direction. While at the OWl, I set my researchers to work on the problem of Negro (the word of the time) integration in the armed forces. Then there was the afternoon at Carl Van Doren's apartment, when Bette and I argued with Sinclair Lewis about anti-Semitism. Reports were beginning to filter out of Germany about the destruction of the Jews, and the question was sensitive indeed.