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BOOK REVIEWS279 As Mrs. Robertson states, "When they lost this, they began to lose everything—their security, their agreement, their selflessness, their happiness ." Those who see man as a primarily self-seeking creature will probably conclude that the project was doomed from the start and survived as long as it did only because of the charisma of its leader. For those with more faith in the human capacity for disinterested benevolence the book may provide an opportunity to reflect upon the preconditions under which such impulses can take root and endure. W. David Lewis Auburn University The Confederate State of Richmond: A Biography of the Capital. By Emory M. Thomas. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971. Pp. viii, 227. $6.75.) The battle cry, "On to Richmond," became one of the great northern slogans during the Civil War, while Richmond itself, as the capital of the Confederacy, virtually came to symbolize the embodiment of the southern cause. With the secession of Virginia came the decision to move the capital there. Regardless of the political wisdom of the move, it was a city that the Confederacy could have hardly afforded to lose to the Union. Ranking thirteenth in 1860 as an industrial center with a good transportation system, Richmond would have been a prime military target as well as a heavily defended one in any case. Richmonders at first were delighted with the decision, but they were soon to learn that it was to be a mixed blessing. Politics and war created a mushrooming population for the city, while military campaigns and raids frequently threatened its safety. Four years of war were to have a tremendous social and economic impact upon the city and its citizens. Inflation, refugees, housing, and prostitution were only a few of the many perplexing problems with which the city fathers had to deal. In the Confederate State of Richmond Professor Thomas presents a very well-written survey of wartime Richmond that is a delight to read. With such a subject, however, the organization of material always presents problems when social, political, and military events are interrelated and intertwined. But in using a chronological approach Professor Thomas succeeds fairly well in recreating an impression of the city at war. He makes very effective use of literary transitions in moving from one subject to another within the same chapter. His writing ability places him among the better writers in the profession. Yet, from this reviewer's point of view, one of the major criticisms of the book is that of balance. While a good treatment of the higher sociopolitical life of the capital and the military milieu in which Richmond had to exist is ably presented, unfortunately many other lesser but important facets of the city's social and economic life are often given only a cursory treatment. It is unfortunate, perhaps, that the fine work of Mary Elizabeth Massey on refugees was apparently not used. 280CIVIL WAR HISTORY Probably in 192 pages it is impossible to give the depth of treatment and analysis that a reader might have wished. The book also contains an excellent bibliographical essay, photographs , and a map of Richmond. And despite minor criticisms Professor Thomas has caught the exuberance and elation, the pathos and tragedy that was to be Richmond's wartime experience. In this the reader may well be glad that the trees do not obscure the forest. Richard R. Duncan Georgetown University Yankee Quaker Confederate General: The Curious Career of Bushrod Rust Johnson. By Charles M. Cummings. (Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1971. Pp. 417. $15.00.) The life of Bushrod Rust Johnson is not a story of triumph, for he was average, ambitious, harassed, confused, ill-starred, and often foolish in his actions. There were, however, a few moments of glory. Although he generally tried to do his best, he was usually ignored and passed over. His failures so completely dominated and enshrouded him that his role in history became obscure and forgotten except for several brief sketches of his life such as the account in the Dictionary of American Biography (X, 91-92). The author of Yankee Quaker Confederate General has corrected this by providing a much...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 279-280
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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