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Book Reviews157 cabinet position, and Davis's military experience and administrative genius made him a success. Ironically, as Secretary of War, Davis strengthened administratively and strategically the army which, a few years later, was to be deployed against the Confederacy. He increased the size of the army by two regiments , strengthened coastal defences, sent commissions abroad to examine foreign military establishments, and secured additional appropriations for West Point. He also displayed constructive vision in his plans for a trans-continental railroad (the four roads later built to the Pacific follow approximately the routes he sketched) , in his urging that Cuba be annexed when Spain seemed willing to negotiate, and in helping to arrange the Gadsden Purchase. Davis's interest in these matters, however, was not so exclusively national as Mr. Strode implies: he also desired to provide the South with additional territory into which to expand and with outlet ports on the Pacific. If, as the author emphasizes, Davis, unlike many other political leaders in the pre-War South, was nation-minded before he was section-minded, he was section-minded to a greater degree than Mr. Strode indicates. At the eleventh hour, his devotion to the Union did lead him still to seek some workable compromise between North and South. With as great reluctance as Lincoln, he saw the Union split apart; to him the disruption of the Union became "a great, though not the greatest, calamity." Like Lincoln, Davis hoped that slavery could be gradually eliminated, but, unlike Lincoln, he saw no hope for that eventuality if slavery were to be excluded from the territories. He deplored also the tendency on both sides to make of slavery an issue resulting always in a contention for political power. A man of noble character, he yet failed to see that slavery in itself was morally unjustifiable; the lack of self-conflict on this issue Mr. Strode plays down, and also the fact that Davis came too close, in his own values, to an uncritical acceptance of the ethos of the Southern planter aristocracy. From the present biography, Jefferson Davis emerges a live, human, and sympathetic figure. Written with a clear, carefully modulated style, this book provides, through its authentic tone and thoroughness of method, not so much a vindication of Davis as an informed presentation of facts which speak for themselves. It will be interesting to discover, then, how the facts will affect the traditional view of the man in later career in Mr. Strode's forthcoming volume, Jefferson Davis: Confederate President. Frederick P. W. McDowell Iowa City, Iowa. Mathew Brady: Historian with a Camera. By James D. Horan. (New York: Crown Publishers. 1955. Pp. 244. $7.50.) CtütZ War in Pictures. By Fletcher Pratt. (New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1955. Pp. 256. $10.00.) the approach of the civil war centennial has brought about an ever-increasing number of histories, memoirs, biographies, strategic and tactical 158civil war history studies, novels good and bad, works on political, diplomatic, economic, and social aspects, and many other relevant publications. Especially welcome to the Civil War bibliophile are the pictorial histories, combining pictures and narrative , and fulfilling a long-felt need for books of this type. Such older works as the ten-volume Photographic History of the Civil War, the unwieldy tomes published by Harper's Weekly, the Benson Lossing's History of the Civil War (with Mathew Brady photographs) are out of print, difficult to find, and (if found) sky-high in price. The able "replacements" were ushered in by David Donald's Divided We Fought, published by Macmillan in 1953 and reviewed by William R. Keast in the March, 1956, issue of Civil War History. To this excellent work have been added two other pictorial histories, equally excellent: James D. Horan's Mathew Brady: Historian with a Camera and the late Fletcher Pratt's Civil War in Pictures. All three volumes are enthusiastically recommended by this reviewer, along with a sobering footnote to the effect that good picture-books are necessarily expensive. These three volumes will relieve the purchaser of $27.50 of his (I hope) hard-earned cash, but the dedicated collector — even the desperate collector — will be...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 157-159
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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