Published in 1965, Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony: The United States 1885-1890 Recitative is a unique and historical document. This extraordinary poetic work, the first volume of a projected series of five, reflects in verse the social, economic, cultural, and legal history of the United States and its people efrom 1885 to 1890. Drawing on actual court recorrds of this period, Charles Reznikoff, who was an attorney, produced a superb portrayal of life in our nation.
A superb portrayal of the emergence of the society that we have inherited … The manner which Reznikoff has developed to convey his vision is as remarkable as the vision itself.
—W. S. Merwin
… a very unique book indeed. He has collected with remarkable perception an extraordinary document of human event – terrifying, comic, and deeply moving. More, he has used all his skill as a poet to locate the given instances sans distortion, in the intense particularity of*time and place.