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Book Reviews 153 Joanne P. Krieg. A Whitman Chronology. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1998. Pp. xxii + 207. Joanne Krieg, editor of an important collection of Whitman essays, is well qualified to produce this useful volume. Krieg's list of important dates and events, based on her easy familiarity with Whitman's life and the issues it has posed for Whitman studies, is full and complete, providing a valuable overview of the author's public and private development. Its weaknesses are those imposed by the genre itself. A chronology is the skeleton of a biography, on which one would ordinarily hang the flesh of argument and analysis. The compiler of a chronology seeks a certain objectivity that is not expected of the biographer. The price of that objectivity is usually the relative absence of the subject's life: we know when Whitman did what, but never really why. The chronology, however useful for the student or researcher, is imprisoned in its own formal structures. Largely absent is the opportunity to chase hares, that is, to pursue an argument that continues over several months or even years. In practice, this means, for example, listing the entries on Peter Doyle scattered throughout the text, where the biographer might have paused in a larger argument to devote a chapter to Doyle. Moving from year to year without a narrative frame, everything is equal in importance to everything else; and by extension, everything is equally unimportant. Krieg deals well with these inherent problems. For instance, Krieg mentions Whitman's friendship "circles," divided into the young male literary friends and the young male labourer friends, in a passage that is working toward the replacement of Peter Doyle by Harry Stafford in Whitman's affections, but, of course, without being able to develop the issues of class and sexuality that are suggested. Her juxtaposition of two letters speaks for a great deal more: on 18 June 1877, Whitman writes to Stafford, "Not a night passes but I think of you," and two days later writes Doyle, in Krieg's words, that "he thinks of him often" and would like to give him a "good buss." If the question of homosexuality can easily be understood in this format, other issues, such as Whitman's attitude to racial others-Indian and black-is harder to incorporate. Abolition can only be brought in by relation to Whitman's 1860 visit to Boston. I note very few omissions in this chronology, although.I would have liked to be reminded that Richard Maurice Bucke first read Whitman in 1867, just prior to the British edition. Despite his anguished approach to Whitman, Charles Warren Stoddard goes unmentioned. There are also very few errors. 154 Canadian Review of American Studies Revuecanadiennecfetudesam{mcaines I do wonder at the dropping of "Gay" from Gay Sunshine Press, publisher of Charley Shively's two collections, and note that Shively should be termed editor of both. Robert K. Martin Universite de Montreal Paul Harvey. Redeeming the South: Religious Cultures and Racial Identities Among Southern Baptists, 1865-1925. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997. Pp. 330. Redeeming the South is an important study of black and white southerners' competing, conflicting, and interlaced identities in the aftermath of the Civil War. Paul Harvey argues that Baptist worship was a central means by which southerners worked out post-emancipation race relations and the South's cultural position in the reunited nation. The study makes a powerful case for southern Baptist churches as fonts of culture, at once peculiarly regional and importantly American. It is also an important corrective to several decades of scholarship which has lavished attention upon the rise of biracial evangelicalism before the Civil War, but has failed to provide "a narrative that interprets the black and white Baptist experience in the South within the central themes of American cultural history" in the postbellum period (3). Harvey not only charts this temporal territory thoroughly, but he treats white and black Baptists with equal rigour and exposes their dynamic relationship to one another in spite of the development of segregated worship. Redeeming the South begins by tracing how Baptist churches divided along racial lines during Reconstruction. Harvey...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-114X
Print ISSN
0007-7720
Pages
pp. 153-154
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
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