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

108Southern Cultures cussion of the most pertinent primary sources. He includes, as Appendixes A through Z, "all the documents I have found that bear directly on the conspiracy." His hesitation is prompted by a concern that readers might assume that these primary documents constitute everything necessary to understand what went on in Adams County in 1861. On the contrary, only a wide-ranging knowledge and deep understanding of nineteenth-century America could have enabled him to grasp the meaning of his sources and penetrate their silences. In a hauntingly eloquent epilogue entitled "A Separate Peace," Jordan reminds us that the Second Creek slaves were "people who mattered and who ought, like all people, to be taken seriously as such." That young archivist who so long ago brought a document to a visiting historian 's attention is Margaret Fisher Dalrymple, now editor in chief of Louisiana State University Press. In her present capacity she presided over the publication of what, in Jordan's understatement, "turned into a somewhat longer study than originally anticipated." This brilliantly crafted and elegantly written work is a major contribution to historical scholarship , not merely because of the intrinsic significance of another abortive slave conspiracy , but mainly because of the intrinsic significance ofJordan's analysis as a model of historical inquiry. It is the splendid result of a great historian's pursuit of large questions in a small place. The Paradox of Southern Progressivism, 1880-1930. By William A. Link. University of North Carolina Press, 1992. xviii, 440 pp. Cloth, $45.00. Reviewed by Stephen Kantrowitz, a graduate student in history at Princeton University. He is currently working on his dissertation, "The Transformation of White Supremacy: Politics and Power in Ben Tillman's America, 1847-1918." In this insightful and clearly written volume, William A. Link brings into focus a central theme in the history of American reform: the conflicts arising from cultural gaps between would-be reformers and those they are trying to help. This is not a comprehensive study of southern Progressivism but an "extended essay" on reform efforts in education, public health, child welfare, public morality, and social order. Together, Link says, these constituted a "cultural invasion of southern communities." Reformers sought to create a more centralized, efficient, and orderly society—Link calls it the "social efficiency state"— through crusades that would lead to changes in public opinion and public policy. But their plans for the South often ran head-first into strong local resistance. Sometimes southerners misunderstood the reformers' intentions; more often, they understood and resisted the controls reformers sought to impose. In the first section, "Localism in Transition," Link offers a picture of a rural- and village -dominated South in which community standards governed everyday life and resistance to external control was a chief imperative. In the cities, however, white middle- and upper-class ministers, women, journalists, and members of the new class of professionals and administrators were committed to different views of the good society. Fearful of both race and class conflict and of the general social disorder they perceived in the rural and small-town South, reformers sought to manage society for the good of all its members, whether or not those members agreed. During the last two decades of the nineteenth Reviews109 century, they challenged the localist cultural consensus primarily through a temperance crusade. In a move foreshadowing the assumptions of progressive reform, temperance advocates came to see liquor as a social menace requiring governmental intervention; they changed their focus from the personal redemption of the sinner to legal restriction of alcohol. Taking the temperance crusade as their model, reformers then headed out into the southern countryside and hinterlands full of prescriptions for improved social efficiency through government action. The second section, "The Reform Crusade," traces southern reform movements in the South during the period between 1900 and the First World War. Link demonstrates how each of the major reform movements took its cue, and often its funding, from outside the region. Prohibitionists joined and adopted the programs of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League; education and public-health reformers took advantage of the expertise and dollars of philanthropic organizations such as the Rockefeller...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 108-110
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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.