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BOOK REVIEWS267 as contributory factors. In his first chapter, the author propounds the suggestive idea that by 1863 New York had reached the maximum geographic limits possible before advances in transportation technology . It was a time when the "safety valve jammed" (p. 5). He does not appear, however, to have profited from Seymour Mandlebaum's suggestive study in the same period. For the immediate causes of the riots, Cook points to the traditional ones—the Lincoln administration's violations of civil liberties, the draft in general, and the substitution clause in particular. Cook terms falacious , however, the argument that the riots were "sparked and fueled by white workers' . . . fears of competition from cheap black labor" (pp. 204-5). Prejudice of long standing was alone sufficient to give the riot its racist element. The four appendices list the casualties and the participants of the anti-draft demonstration, but analysis of this wealth of information is limited. Just a handful of those arrested were convicted; very few had police records; only a few had served in the army. Most of the rioters were young, male, and Irish; most came from the "bottom of the social pyramid" (p. 196). The death toll, inflated both by contemporaries and historians, was only 119. Cook's findings are neither new nor unexpected . Cook limits his study by avoiding several areas of inquiry which, though time consuming, might have proved the most productive. How did the rioters—who included a Columbia College professor and the lowliest Dead Rabbit—differ from a cross section of New York's population as revealed in the manuscript census? Did those involved in anti-Negro violence share any peculiar characteristics? What were the political affiliations of the rioters and thus to what extent was the riot an act of partisanship? One act of omission, however is laudable. Cook wisely avoids the discussion of post-riot brick throwing between Governor Seymour and the Lincoln administration made trite by Mitchell, Murdock, and others. Cook's study of the New York draft riots is cautious, scholarly, the product of painstaking research and writing. But it is not venturesome and consequently will receive only the nod of respect, not the laurel of immortality. Robert J. Imholt Albertus Magnus College The Americanization of The Gulf Coast: 1803-1850. Edited by Lucius F. Ellsworth. (Pensacola: Historic Pensacola Preservation Board, 1972. Pp. v, 155. $3.50.) The theme of the third annual Gulf Coast History and Humanities Conference held in December, 1971 was the Americanization of the Gulf Coast. This volume is a collection of the papers delivered at the 268CIVIL WAR HISTORY conference. The various papers touched on the topics of politics, territorial expansion, the nature of society, economic characteristics, and the role of religion in the Old Southwest. Unfortunately, there is really no unifying theme beyond the Gulf Coast States, and not all of the papers , strictly speaking, actually deal with these states. Bertram WyattBrown 's essay "Religion and the Formation of Folk Culture: Poor Whites of the Old South," uses an example from North Carolina to illustrate his theme that poor whites "exercised a profound influence upon all aspects of Southern Life." Nonetheless, several conclusions do emerge from the essays. One is that Americanization occurred at a varying rate throughout the region and was not always welcomed by the old residents. A second conclusion is that Americans dominated the economic life of the area from a very early period, but that it remained backward in relationship to the economy of the eastern and midwestern sections of the United States. Finally, social attitudes also quickly were adjusted to those of the older southern states, though some "vestiges" of Spanish and French culture remained. "By the end of the period . . . most of the residents of the Gulf Coast region identified with the upper South if not completely with the rest of the nation." Professor Ellsworth has succeeded in bringing together many different types of papers into a fairly unified whole. One might wish more had been attempted in the introduction, and that the final chapter, though a delightful after dinner talk by Cary Carson entitled "Historical Archaeology and the Amateur," had been omitted from the volume. Donald W...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 267-268
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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