While the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that all men were created equal and were endowed with certain unalienable rights, it was not until almost a hundred years later after a disastrous Civil War that this founding principle of the United States became law with the adoption of the reconstruction amendments. These amendments, the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth abolished slavery, established due process and equal protection under the law, and guaranteed the newly freed black men the right to vote. These amendments constitute the Second Founding of the Republic. Eric Foner’s The Second Founding, How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, (Norton, 2019) traces the history of these amendments from their origins in Republican party politics to their virtual nullification in the late nineteenth century through a series of momentous Supreme Court decisions and the southern states working actively to undermine them thus rendering the second founding as imperfect as the first. Join us as we read and discuss this insightful history of how and why the establishment of these basic rights was challenged then, and why they still face challenges today.