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book reviews367 rank in the regular service. . . ." The correct reading of the letter is particularly that I have so high rank. . . ." The rank of brigadier general in the regular army was considered exceedingly high in those days and no one knew this better than did Oliver Otis Howard. White has done a good job of telling the story of the Bureau in Louisiana despite the inconsistencies noted. Studies of the Bureau's record in other states will undoubtedly agree with both Abbott and White that the time and resources available to the Bureau were grossly inadequate in meeting the demands placed upon it. John Carpenter Fordham University From Evangelicalism to Progressivism at Oberlin College, 1866-1917. By John Barnard. (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1969. Pp. 171. $7.50.) In this history of Oberlin College during the half-century after the great revivalist Charles G. Finney's presidency, John Barnard seeks "to identify and describe one strand . . .: the changing ways in which students at Oberlin thought about social issues. . . ." Although the book thus is not a continuation of Robert Fletcher's comprehensive history of Oberlin 's earlier years, it does touch on more topics than the preface suggests . The new post-war president, James H. Fairchild, lacked the religious intensity of his predecessor. Nevertheless, he and the morally zealous, homogeneous Oberlin community of students, professors, and trustees still affirmed that "intellectual training was properly subordinate to the greater end of evangelical spirituality." The gradual reversal of these goals is the second major theme of Barnard's study. By the 1880's Oberlin was cautiously moving toward educational and religious change, which was most evident in the longer and more specialized graduate training of new faculty members, fewer of whom were Oberlin graduates. Particular instructors introduced the seminar and rapidly expanded the natural science curriculum. Barnard argues persuasively that student pressure was chiefly responsible for these and similar changes. By the end of the decade student leaders and newer faculty alike worked for a "more profound and independent scholarship" as Oberlin's main goal. Evangelical spirituality, still a major concern, became less an integral part of the Oberlin experience and more a separate aspect. While such customs as prayer at the opening of each class meeting weakened in the early 1880's, Oberlin claimed the largest college YMCA in the world. Spirituality also suffused a social awakening. Literary society debates and such speakers as Henry George introduced many students to urban industrial problems, which Oberlin believed Christian benevolence would solve. 368CIVIL WAR HISTORY During the 1890's professionalization and social Christianity further influenced the college. Finally, in 1902, trustees reacted against worldliness by electing as president alumnus and theology professor Henry Churchill King, but King also encouraged the emphasis on faculty specialization and research while "social redemption" had a central place in his extensive religious writing. Barnard's account of the process by which Oberlin developed its academic and religious progrcssivism rests on impressive manuscript research. For the entire period of his study he has made full use of the college's official records, the student newspaper, letters and journals of numerous Oberlinians, as well as autobiographical and other published work of Oberlin alumnae and professors. When Barnard writes "students wanted . . ." or "professors believed . . ." footnotes commonly cite ten references for the former and several for the latter. Barnard's thorough, clear narrative suffers most from a lack of comparison with similar institutions or with Oberlin's own past. Only occasionally does Barnard note that a school such as Amherst dealt with a comparable problem and there is no indication that he sees Oberlin either as unique or as representative of many colleges. Since Oberlin itself had a "social gospel" tradition in the 1830's and 1840's, Barnard might well have compared the college's early years with the period of his own study. Either or both comparisons would have enhanced the significance of his account of aspects of a notable college's history. James R. Turner The College of Wooster ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 367-368
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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