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354CIVIL WAR HISTORY the necessity of analyzing religion as a social force, of understanding religion as ideology as well as theology. As a businessman in a business age, Moody conjoined in his person and work the values of the AngloAmerican middle classes and the morals of a simplified Christian theology which have been perceived as identical by both friends and foes. Trying to show the interdependency of the two without confusing them is a demanding, perhaps impossible, task; but, to his credit, Findlay has tried to do so. Throughout the book he weaves the themes of middleclass consciousness and evangelical articulation, as he follows Moody from Northfield to Chicago to England to Northfield again in his search for ways to get men back into the church and the church back into the center of American life. One is inclined to demur from some observations , for example, that the Ritualists of England either by goal, status, or perception were democratic, or that Moody really was "responding" to the actual social problems of the city. Also, some readers may be annoyed by the recurrent italicization of the word "Bible" for no apparent reason. These are minor, perhaps minute faults; the book is so good that it should be read as an excellent contribution to social history and as proof that historians of religious history are dealing with some of the central issues of American history. Donald G. Mathews University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Speak for Yourself, Daniel: A Life of Webster in His Own Words. Edited by Walker Lewis. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969. Pp. 505. $8.95.) Walter Lewis writes in the introduction that "When a great man dies, he is first eulogized, then dissected. His admirers consign him to sainthood , and later commentators rip away the halo. After a few critical biographies, he is lucky if he does not resemble a corpse with the spleen and liver showing. Like all men, Webster had his frailties. Some of his biographers have dwelt on these unduly, leading us to question how such a man could have been deemed so great. For in focusing on the flaws, we lose sight of the zest, the humor, and the earthiness that cast such a spell." To avoid these excesses of admiration or criticism, Mr. Lewis has given us an autobiography of Webster drawn primarily from the eighteen volumes of the 1903 edition of Webster's writings and speeches and from other Webster materials not included in that edition. He has tied his chronological narrative together by identifying the historical context of particular letters or speeches and has added perspective by quoting from letters about Webster from his friends and family. Because of this emphasis, Mr. Lewis has biographical notes on Webster's principal correspondents. By using this technique, Mr. Lewis, a lawyer, an officer of the Mary- book reviews355 land Historical Society, and the author of a biography of Chief Justice Taney, hopes that while we "can no longer recapture Webster's voice, or the excitement of his presence ... we can at least catch the words by which contemporaries knew him, and in so doing came closer to the realization of his charm." I believe that Mr. Lewis has given us the opportunity to recapture that charm in Webster's concern for his children, his farms and many details of everyday life in the first half of the nineteenth century. The book, however, does not present us with the key to Webster's greatness. In these autobiographical writings, we see little intellectual curiosity and few insights into the depths of the history in which he is participating. His nationalism seems to rest on a philosophy no more complex than his successful patriotic orations. To make Webster really come alive, we do need biographers who can reveal his psychological complexities in a way that he himself does not, and who can illuminate his successful embodiment of cultural values in a way that he does not. For surely the half century of his public life which ended with the confrontation of sectional crisis escalating toward the Civil War was more dramatic than Webster perceived. We need a biographer who can provide clues to why Webster, like so...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 354-355
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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