- Travels in the New South: a Bibliography. Vol. I, The Postwar South, 1865-1900: an Era of Reconstruction and Readjustment; Vol. II, The Twentieth-Century South: an Era of Change, Depression, and Emergence (review)
- Civil War History
- The Kent State University Press
- Volume 9, Number 1, March 1963
- pp. 107-108
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Book Reviews107 slugfest with die Virginia in Hampton Roads. The audior dutifuUy compdes the specifications of aU die ironclads, however, enumerates the careers of some, and recounts the battle highlights of others. Civil War Ironclads begins with die statement diat die conditions which gave rise to the ironclad warship paraueled diose which led to die development of the dreadnought, the aircraft carrier, and the nuclear submarine. Interspersed throughout the text are such generalizations as the "most wonderful thing which runs through the entire story" of the Southern navy "is an almost lunatic optimism and confidence on the part of aU Confederates, from the secretary of the navy to die landsmen at die guns. . . . And more often than not, diey expected die Yankees to be faindiearted and cowardly." MacBride concludes that die monitors' effect upon the war was not great. He omits an analysis of overaU ironclad policy and slights Gustavus Vasa Fox, highly significant in monitor budding and strategy, by briefly mentioning him only two times. Confusingly organized, each chapter seems separate with no narrative continuity. Minor errors, too, creep in. Worden commanded the Monitor, not "Warden"; Davis commanded at Memphis, not "Foote." To compensate for the reader's pains, MacBride interlaces his narrative with fine sketches, showing deck plans, side, bow and stern elevations, cross sections and traverse sections of many ironclads. Persons with a mild interest in history might read this account and, perhaps, enjoy the convenient catalogue of ironclads, but Civd War enthusiasts wdl lament diat die scholarship is not commensurate with die iUustrations. Prospective purchasers should beware the blurb on the dust jacket which claims diat MacBride has furnished detailed maps of die engagements. There are no maps. James M. Merrill Whittier CoUege Travels in the New South: a Bibliography. Vol. I, The Postwar South, 1865-1900: an Era of Reconstruction and Readjustment; Vol. II, The Twentieth-Century South: an Era of Change, Depression, and Emergence . Edited by Thomas D. Clark. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962. Pp. xvi, 267; xiv, 301. $20.00.) Just as the nineteenth-century captains of industry helped to fashion the American economy, so have captains of scholarship contributed to our national cultural strength. One of the latter—and certainly no "robber baron" —is Thomas D. Clark of the University of Kentucky. Twenty years ago he organized a large cooperative endeavor that has at length reached its conclusion in these two volumes. Everyone who knows Tom Clark—and who doesn't?—realizes that die six volumes of bibliography of Southern travels, for which he was entrepreneur and general editor, constitute only a smaU part of his enormously productive and useful life. But only one who lived close to him and watched him struggle to see this undertaking through, while at the same time he poured his energy into dozens of odier worthwhile projects, can understand how much effort the completion of die bibliography required. The achievement justifies die long, hard labor. In these two volumes the historian of the Soutii wiU find a valuable guide to approximately 250 books of travel in the region during Reconstruction (compiled and annotated by Fletcher M. Green), about the same number for the last two decades of die century (Clark) , nearly as many, in English, for the years 1900-1955 (Rupert B. Vance), and almost 400 foreign-language accounts of travel in the twentiedi -century South (Lawrence S. Thompson). Togedier, die books listed and described give, in Professor Green's words, "a comprehensive view of Southem society—social, economic, cultural, and political." Many of the books are trash, and it is good to have them clearly labeled as worthless. Others, though, have been too long unknown, and one of the chief values of this bibliography is its rescuing from oblivion many little-known works of honest reporting. Some of the books appraised are "travel accounts" only in the loosest sense, but earnest scholars will welcome the editors' elastic definition whedier bibliographical purists do or not. Often, only a chapter or a few pages of a book deal widi die Soudi, and sometimes travelers touched only die fringes of the section. Some Yankee and foreign visitors (especiaUy those who were Marxists) cast every white Southerner as...