In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS The Legacy of the Civil War: Meditations on the Centennial. By Robert Penn Warren. (New York: Random House, 1961. Pp. 109. $2.75.) Taking as ins theme the latter half of the old saw that "all that happened before die Civil War led up to it, and diat all diat has happened since is die result of it," Robert Penn Warren, novelist and poet, has written a brief, wellorganized , thought-provoking essay. Out of the war, says Warren, came a society of big business and big technology, with the result that "the old sprawling, loosely knit country disappeared into the nation of Big Organization." The war created a union which had not existed before, brought about an explosive westward expansion, and created a climate of opinion peculiarly favorable to the formulation of pragmatism as a philosophy. Thus the psychological cost of the war gave the South the "Great Alibi" by which die Soutiiemer explains, condones, and transmutes everything, turning defeat into victory, defects into virtues. For the North the psychological cost is die "Treasury of Virtue" whereby die Northerner feels redeemed by history through an indulgence for all sins past, present, and future. Botii of these are found equally corrosive of national and personal integrity. Warren believes that "history cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future." Thus in the contemplation of the Civil War "some of that grandeur, even in the midst of the confused issues, shadowy chances, and brutal ambivalences of our life and historical moment, may rub off on us. And that may be what we yearn for after all." Wn-LARD E. Wight Georgia Institute of Technology Cavalier and Yankee: the Old South and American National Character. By William R. Taylor. (New York: George Braziller, 1961. Pp. 384. $6.00. ) By 1860 most Americans had come to think of their country as consisting of two disparate cultures: that in the North was commercial, equalitarian, enterprising , money-minded, while that in the South was agricultural, aristocratic, decorous, conservative. Each was thought to have its own traditions, its own set of values, its own culture, and—according to a notion tiien current—its own separate ancestral heritage. The one was Yankee, the other was Cavalier. Much of diis was myth. Yet as everyone familiar with history knows, what 337 ...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
p. 337
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
N
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.