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364civil war history The American Mind in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. By Irving H. Bartlett. (New York: Thomas Y. CroweU Co., 1967. Pp. vi, 133. $4.95.) Historians of the American mind have long been aware tiiat the tumultuous age between the presidency of Andrew Jackson and the onset of the Civil War was an exceedingly fertile time for intellectual activity. Yet, the very richness of the period has, in itself, constituted a formidable barrier to attempts at intelUgible and meaningful synthesis. Irving H. Bartlett, in this brief volume, has made a promising start in unifying the major ideas of the era so that an understandable dynamic begins to emerge. Drawing heavily upon the earUer work of Ralph Gabriel and Louis Hartz, the author sees the years 1830-1860 as ones in which the basic themes of American thought include beh'efs in the free individual, the moral law, and the American mission. His own contribution is the emphasis which he places on die significance of the response to the pace of change as a determinant in the growth and acceptance of ideas. Like Hartz, Bartlett finds most Americans in basic accord with the liberal consensus, but also is alert to those matters on which the nation's thinkers were divided. Utilizing a biographical approach within a topical framework, Bartlett has attempted to sketch the main trends in social, poUtical, reUgious, philosophic , and scientific drought. Also included is an illuminating discussion of die southern mind and a less satisfactory chapter entitled, 'The Democratic Imagination," which confines itself to an examination of the literary figures: Whitman, Cooper, Hawthorne and Melville. Here the individual analyses are often incisive, especially the treatment of Melville; however, the brevity of the sketches is surely a hunting factor. The form of the book itself is mainly responsible for whatever limitations it possesses. Intended as an interpretative volume aimed particularly at the undergraduate, the book was not meant to be exhaustive. Within those proscribed boundaries die autiior has provided the student with a useful synthesis of the latest research without detracting from the originality of his own perspective. The bibliographical essay at tiie conclusion is a perceptive guide to the Uterature of the field. One can only hope that Professor Bartlett will soon fulfill the promise implicit in this short study and present us with a comprehensive account of tiie American mind in one of its most exciting and productive periods. Timothy P. Donovan Texas Technological College Frontiersmen in Blue: The United States Army and the Indian, 18481865 . By Robert M. Udey. (New York: MacmiUan Company, 1967. Pp. xv, 384. $9.95.) The swift western advance of white settlement which accompanied and followed the Mexican War brought a crisis in the relations between the United States and the Indian inhabitants of that vast region stretching ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
p. 364
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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