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362CIVIL WAR HISTORY It is here that one might find fault with Smart's Introduction. While constantly referring to Reid as "radical," Smart never defines the term. Nor does Reid. Thus, the sophisticated reader will have little difficulty noting the radical point of view; the person with less background will. The Introduction also suffers from too little biographical information on Reid, especially after 1865. It seems only fair to let the reader know that Reid's views became more and more conservative. As C. Vann Woodward has pointed out in his introduction to Reid's After the War: A Tour of the Southern States, 1865-1866, by 1870 Reid was "deploring the rash efforts of radicals in behalf of the Negro and sympathizing deeply with the bitter Southern resentment" (p. xx). Smart's Introduction also raises questions about his sample selection process. He notes that all "Agate" dispatches in the Reid Collection were checked against the articles in the Gazette. Were there any differences between what was written and what was printed? Were there any articles written but not printed? If so, why? The Notes preceding the various sections are of marginal value. On important subjects such as "The Struggle for the Negro" and "Reconstruction"—where Reid's radical leanings could be pointed out and put into perspective—there are scant three or four-sentence introductions. This lack of perspective pervades the book. In many instances, Reid will make a reference to some event or situation and the reader is left dangling because no explanation has been included. For example, in one dispatch he refers to Lincoln's "letter to Greeley" in the National Intelligencer (Vol. I, 215). Surely a brief footnote is in order explaining that this was in response to Greeley's controversial "Prayer of Twenty Millions" letter to the President. The weak Introduction and Notes, and the absence of explanatory footnotes, detract from the usefulness of the book. But, the student and historian will find Reid's dispatches lucid, accurate, colorful and relevant. The broad spectrum of subjects treated makes the book a valuable tool for research, not just for reports on military engagements, but particularly for the volatile political atmosphere in Washington. Reid's dispatches clearly present the radical point of view, but they are tempered with common sense and nascent journalistic objectivity. Fredric F. Endres Kent State University Inventors of the Promised Land. By Lawrence J. Friedman. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1975. Pp. xviii, 344. $15.00.) In his first book, The White Savage (1970), Lawrence Friedman examined the racial attitudes of six prominent post-bellum southern book reviews363 whites and concluded that the entire white South remained as antiblack after the Civil War as it had been before it. All white southerners allegedly needed to keep blacks subordinate to gain psychological relief from the nervousness, competition, and repression plaguing urbanizing, industrializing America. That these six persons themselves differed over racial questions, that they admittedly may have become "racists" for unrelated "therapeutic reasons" (p. 70), that their collective positions hardly represented the entire white South, and that racism obviously flourished in the less urbanized and industrialized ante-bellum South Friedman simply ignored. His second book is, alas, as perplexing if as provocative as his first, and for the same reasons: dogmatic assertions about the attitudes of whole populations supported by insufficient evidence drawn from an insufficient number of persons. In brief, he contends that neither victory in the American Revolution nor approval of the Constitution created "a viable nation" (p. xiii). Rather, there persisted concern over the fragility of this unusually large and socially and culturally diverse Republic. Leading Americans consequently sought means to instill identification with and loyalty to the new nation. By 1840 they had succeeded, but at a considerable price: the steady diminution of America's earlier "cosmopolitanism and tolerance" (p. xiii) and the closing of the Promised Land to all but white males. The "inventors" of this redefined utopia included, most notably, historian David Ramsay; linguist Noah Webster; novelist Charles Brockden Brown; George Washington hagiographers Mason Weems and Jared Sparks; feminists Mercy Warren, Elizabeth Chandler, and Sarah Hale; American Colonization Society activists Robert Finley and Ralph Randolph Gurley; and educators...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 362-364
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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