Written in 1905, The Colonel's Dream is a compelling, bitter tale of the post-Civil War South's degeneration into a regions awash with virulent racist practices against African Americans: segregation, lynchings, disenfranchisement, convect-labor exploitation, and endemic violent repression. The events in this novel are powerfully depicted from the point of view of a philanthropic but unreliable southern white colonel. Upon his return to the South, the colonel quickly learns to abhor this world and a tale of vicious racism unfolds. Through this narrative, Chestnutt confronts the deteriorating position of African Americans in an increasingly racist and segregated South. Upon its publication, The Colonel's Dream was considered controversial and unpalatable, so this groundbreaking work failed to gain public attention and acclaim.
This first scholarly edition of The Colonel's Dream includes and introduction and notes by R. J. Eliis and works to reestablish this great novel's reputation.