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280CIVIL war history any startlingly new conclusions, they emphasize some matters more than their predecessors, such as the role of the Marquis de Radepont in helping to draw up Napoleon's "Grand Design ' and the essentially liberal nature of that program for ruling Mexico. As the Hannas' title and subtitle indicate, writers on the French intervention are confronted with a motif and a eountermotif—the French push into Mexico and the American response. Some accounts, such as Count Corti's Maximilian and Charlotte of Mexico or Dexter Perkins' The Monroe Doctrine, 1826-1867, are devoted almost exclusively to one or the other. The Hannas have tried to combine the two, a laudable aim but not wholly realized. In the first half of the book the French background obscures the American Civil War, and the reader never fully understands the precarious balance in American politics and diplomacy which forced Seward into a cautious, not to say deceptive, policy over Mexico. His equivocal relations with the Juarist Mexican minister, Matías Romero, are seen mainly through the prolific reports of Romero, who thought him pro-French. Significantly, although the Hannas used the extensive collection of Seward papers, they cite only the correspondence with General Henry S. Sanford, an American agent in Europe. As a result of this approach, the magnitude of Seward's accomplishment (which they recognize in the end) comes as something of a surprise . For a survey account such as this one, a few subjects seem to be emphasized a little out of proportion. Among all Maximilian's perplexing domestic problems immigration receives most attention. One may well wonder whether the grandiose plans of "Dook" William M. Gwin for mining and colonization projects in Sonora deserve a whole chapter , although the chapter is well written and amusing. On the other side of the balance, the final summing up on the significance of the French intervention is weak. The publishers are to be commended for putting the footnotes at the bottom of each page. The authors, however, deserve some reproof for inaccurate footnote citations and especially for doctoring quotations without giving any indication. The changes do not seem to alter the meaning at any point and were probably motivated by a sense of tidiness . David M. Pletcher Indiana University Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America. By Martin E. Marty. (New York: The Dial Press, 1970. Pp. 295. 82.95.) Martin Marty, seemingly an ubiquitous writer, editor, scholar, and participant in contemporary Protestantism, provides in this popularlywritten "bicentennial history" a deft synthesis of his primary field of inquiry, based on secondary literature, his students' dissertations, and book reviews281 his own well-informed insights. Contrary to promotional claims on the back cover of the paperback edition ascribing to Marty "searing objectivity " and stating that "no judgments are made," this is a useful thematic and highly interpretive contribution to historical understanding . The perspective that defines the central theme is frankly contemporary . "Concerns of the present generation," Marty tells us, "such as race and conflict, receive a prominence that had been obscured in many recent accountings of American religious history." The theme, accordingly , focuses on "WASPS" and their quest for "empire," meaning their attempt "to attract the allegiance of all the people, to develop a spiritual kingdom, and to shape the nation's ethos, mores, manners, and often its laws." As an interpretive device Marty's central theme of an ethnic-religious quest for empire creates some inevitable problems of balance. Since questions of the interaction of religion and culture are made central, the religious movements seem to be evaluated largely in terms of the social aspects of their causes and effects. For example, racial and ethnic motivations, which can easily be illustrated in nineteenth-century American Protestantism, are pointed out so frequently that other motivating factors, while acknowledged, seem to be subordinate. To illustrate: intimations that the primary root of anti-Catholie animosities was WASP ethnic prejudice are less convincing than would be the more obvious primary explanation in terms of the long history of more specifically religious hostility. On the other hand, the emphases on cultural aspirations and attitudes lead to many perceptive insights that highlight cultural themes in Protestantism sometimes overlooked...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 280-282
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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