Civil War Books: A Critical Bibliography (review)
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BOOK REVIEWS353 away from the spiritual to the gospel song associated with Thomas Dorsey. Surely in the generation since Dorsey the gospel song, particularly in quartet styles, has become part of "American Negro Folklore." But the inexcusable omission from the section on music is that of any useful discussion or even transcription of the music. Since Brewer uses several items from Jerry Silverman's book on the blues, this weakness is all the more irritating. The remaining sections of Professor Brewer's anthology present other standard items of verbal folklore: superstitions (or beliefs), proverbs, rhymes, riddles, a little bit of name-lore, and some chüdren's rhymes. The entire book struck this reviewer as rather primly laundered, but we do get at least a few mild "dozens." But aU die items in diese sections seem rather standard, and again are inadequately commented upon. The book lacks any presentation of customs, folk medicine, particularly plant lore, and cooking practices. A recipe for "pigs' ears" is at least as interesting as those WASP-ish autograph album rhymes. Then too, the whole vital subject of the black underworld, particularly its style-setting language, is left out. Indeed, Professor Brewer's book perhaps sums up an era—not so much of black lore as of white study of black lore. Even the book's many line drawings seem very nmeteen-thirtyish. In other words, die whole world of street-corner preaching (or even Elder Beck for that matter), of hustling in Harlem, of beauty creams and whiteners and die Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, of the attempted bust-out into desegregation , and die really glorious revolution of now—^aU tíiis is missing. AU these matters are die stuff of folklore; but not the pretty folklore of scholarship of the past twenty years. So, finaUy, Professor Brewer's book is pleasant; but we do not need another one like it. R. T. Wagner Tulane University Civil War Books: A Critical Bibliography. Vols. I and II. Edited by Allan Nevins, James I. Robertson, Jr., and Bell I. Wüey. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1967 and 1969. Vol. I, pp. x, 278; Vol. II, x, 326. $23 die set.) This bibliography is unsatisfactory in several respects. Responsibility rests chiefly witii Professor Robertson, since, according to die preface, Professors Nevins and Wüey handled only "problems of promotion and organization," while Robertson served as managing editor. The actual compilation and annotation of die entries feU to sixteen other historians, aU of lesser fame than those iUustrious persons who received editorial credit from the publisher. Chief among the bibliography's faults is its uninclusive character. Indeed , it is difficult to say just what it is a bibliography of. Entries are 354civil war history confined to titles for which Library of Congress cards exist, a system which has the effect of excluding article-length works. Thus, we have a Civü War bibliography that ignores Thomas Cochran's heuristic article "Did The Civil War Retard Industrialization?" and Eric L. McKitrick 's widely noticed essay on wartime politics published in the William Nisbet Chambers and Walter Dean Burnham volume, The American Party Systems. A prefatory remark declares that "articles are of such quantity and varying worth as to demand a separate bibliography," but the same might be said for some of the categories which the Library of Congress does catalog, e.g., speeches which individuals happen to have had printed in pamphlet form. Doctoral dissertations are omitted on the grounds that they are difficult to locate and inclusion of manuscripts was unacceptable, we are told, because they "abound for some sections [of the bibliography] (e.g., Soldier Life) and rarely exist for others (e.g., The Negro)." (Lvii). The bibliography is not even a satisfactory guide to Library of Congress holdings on the Civil War, because the compilers labored under directions to restrict their listings to "literature bearing solely on the war years." For military history this policy is satisfactory enough, but the divorce of cause and effect from actual event is less tenable for other aspects of the war years. Leaving aside such philosophical speculations, however, one must also note that the limitation leads to ignoring...