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222 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 contestation between an older, congressionally centred Democratic party and the Republican party of Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, which featured a new emphasis on a centralized federal government led by a powerful president. The first and last chapters historicize the memorial more broadly in >American life.= Here Thomas adds to recent studies of both Lincoln and memorial architecture, such as Kirk Savage=s important Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves (1997). Thomas cogently argues that in the ongoing debate over Lincoln=s legacy (Lincoln as emancipator of the slaves, or Lincoln as saviour of the Union?), the memorial was >built to celebrate and foster consensus and reconciliation.= Over time, what had begun as a decidedly partisan monument to a Northern president was transformed into an icon of >universal= American ideals that knitted together North and South. Finally, in the civil rights era of the mid-twentieth century, activists such as Marian Anderson and the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington reappropriated Lincoln=s long-buried legacy as Emancipator by using the monument as a site of vernacular civic ritual. Although Thomas does suggest that Lincoln=s legacy as >Savior of the Union= was a political compromise that came at the expense of African Americans, the question of race does not generally animate his research. Because the project memorializes Lincoln, however, I found myself at times wishing for a broader analytic mandate. For example, in discussing the extensive press coverage of the memorial designs= public presentations in 1911/12, Thomas relies exclusively on Bacon=s scrapbook from the period. In 1912, W.E.B. Du Bois was editing the Crisis, the organ of the NAACP, and James Weldon Johnson published the opening volley of the Harlem Renaissance (Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man); one wonders if the AfricanAmerican press or the >talented tenth= had any comment on the design of the memorial. Similarly, Thomas skips over his one observation that one of Guèrin=s murals, entitled Emancipation of a Race, metaphorically narrates the emancipation of the slaves. Given what we know about the whitewashing of history in the age of Jim Crow memorial making, Guèrin=s mural seems a vocal political intervention; one wishes for further analysis here. Fortunately, however, given the skilled contributions accumulating in the history of American public memory, including the role of race, Thomas doesn=t have to do everything in one book. His tight focus on Bacon and the memorial design makes his book the definitive treatment of the memorial=s architectural history. More broadly, however, Thomas=s persuasive analysis of the memorial=s relation to the partisan political culture of a rapidly industrializing society makes the book a must-read for students of American public memory and Progressive Era cultural history. (ELSPETH H. BROWN) William Barr, editor. From Barrow to Boothia: The Arctic Journal of Chief Factor Peter humanities 223 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Warren Dease, 1836B1839 McGill-Queen=s University Press. xxiv, 332. $49.95 In 1836 the Hudson=s Bay Company resolved to complete the chart of the Arctic coastline of North America, of which some 760 kilometres remained unsurveyed after almost a century of exploration. George Simpson, the HBC=s governor in North America, entrusted the leadership of the Arctic Discovery Expedition to his young cousin and private secretary, Thomas, and the veteran HBC factor Peter Warren Dease. Simpson and Dease were assigned five tasks: to produce a narrative of the voyage, to draw up charts of the coastline, to take formal possession of the land for Great Britain, to name geographical features, and to collect >specimens of natural history.= The first of these tasks was accomplished in 1843 with the posthumous publication of Thomas Simpson=s Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of America, which describes the complete success of the small-boat expedition. Efficient work in the summer of 1837 covered the western gap to Point Barrow; after faltering in 1838, the explorers completed the chart of the coast eastwards to the Boothia Peninsula in the summer of 1839. And yet half the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 222-224
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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