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BOOK REVIEWS271 broadens historical horizons with this detailed account of mining engineers in the trans-Mississippi West between 1849 and 1933. To a considerable extent Spence has written a collective biography of scores of well known leaders in the profession. As he describes their daily lives and their careers the author covers a multitude of subjects although tìiree major themes emerge. In the first place, specialization was a major trend in this, as in other professions in the years after 1849, as mining engineers rose from jacks-of-all-trades to highly trained professionals . This tendency was well reflected in the growth of specialized mining schools after the Civil War, and increasing public acceptance of scientific as well as practical experience. On the basis of their improved status by 1900, Spence shows, in demonstrating another major theme, mining engineers moved into high executive and managerial posts in industry. The career of Herbert Hoover served as an outstanding example to his peers. Finally, in some of the best chapters of the book, the author describes the spread of American mining practices throughout the world. After 1890, especially, engineers from the United States took their skills to South Africa, to Australia and New Zealand, to China, Korea, India, and also to Latin America. No wonder, therefore, that they were a cosmopolitan group, at home in different languages and cultures. Indeed, some, like Rossiter W. Raymond or Mark Requa, wrote poetry or novels, while Thomas A. Rickard authored twenty-five books, including a standard history of mining. Spence concludes that mining engineers not only made a significant contribution to the growth of the West, but that they also made the area "a kind of gigantic post-graduate school of mines" for the entire world. Moreover, die American mining engineer became an important missionary of civilization as he worked in the opening of many underdeveloped nations around the globe. As a group, mining engineers constituted the vanguard of the technological and managerial elite that was to become so significant in twentieth century America. The author's research has been prodigious. He has exhaustively combed the pages of major mining journals over the years. In addition, he has searched scores of private manuscript collections and has read innumerable diaries and journals. Local newspapers have amplified many of his findings as well as a wide range of secondary works. In short, Professor Spence has written a definitive account of mining engineers in the West and has produced a solid study that will be read with repect and interest. Gerald D. Nash University of New Mexico Andrew Jackson and the Bank War: A Study in the Growth of Presidential Power. By Robert V. Remini. (New York: W. W. Norton and Company , 1967. Pp. 192. $4.50.) In this brief, incisive essay, Robert Remini opts for a political explana- 272CIVIL WAR HISTORY tion of the complex and protracted struggle between the Administration of Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States. Eschewing the recent emphasis on various forms of economic interest group explanations , he argues that the Jacksonians politicized an essentially economic question in order to satisfy their particular political needs and despite the support for the Bank by a majority of the American people. Jackson saw a grave tìireat to himself and to democratic political culture in the growing power of the Bank over the country's finances. His party colleagues perceived imminent danger to themselves and to their organization in the Bank's coziness with opposition elements. Both threats were successfully countered. The President emerged from the war with his powers enhanced and expanded, his office basically changed in nature (he used the Presidency for agitprop purposes, to mobilize popular support for his policies), and his party apparently strengthened—but all at the expense of the country's economic wellbeing . A master of the use of the sprightly quote, Remini skillfully sketches in the background and behavior of the main antagonists and effectively establishes the bitter personal and politicized atmosphere in which great decisions were made. The result is a colorful and provocative history of political activity at the highest levels of the two Jacksonian administrations , tasks Remini has prepared himself for in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 271-273
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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