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BOOK REVIEWS357 tion when for a time he put himself on the outs with Republican leaders by defending Andrew Johnson's policies. Whether he was guilty of dalliance with theneurotic Elizabeth Tilton, as her husband charged, matters little, for after his sensational trial for adultery, he found his popularity heightened rather than diminished. The explanation for this Victorian anomaly is not hard to find: the middle class for whom he allegedly spoke always had judged him accurately to be a performer rather than prophet, moral leader, intellectual, or teacher. Merton L. Ddxon Ohio State University City and Hinterhnd: A Case Study of Urban Growth and Regional Development. By Roberta Balstad Miller. (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979. Pp. xiv, 179. $17.50.) Scholarship in economic history in the 1960's was much preoccupied with the processes of growth and development in American history. The work of Douglass North, Simon Kuznets, Moses Abramowitz, and George Rogers Taylor placed in sharp focus the problem of determining both the timing and the pattern of growth, especially in the ante-bellum period; and the quantitative studies of Robert Gallman and others established a firmer picture of structural change, relative sectoral growth rates, and periodization. All this work, mainly by economists, provided valuable context for historians' studies of regional or local economies. But all too often, such "context," consisting of aggregative national data (on commodity output, on GNP, on sectoral distribution of production), remained seemingly immune to modification by the findings of historians working on particular regions. Any informed studentwould readily acknowledge, of course, that a wide range oflocal variations must have prevailed in the timing and patterns of growth (or stagnation). Still, the historical models for explaining ante-bellum growth tended to be constructed only with reference to the aggregative data and trends; what we were learning from regional and localized studies tended to be treated as "illustrative" of variations of unknown range and relative importance. This has begun to change, of late, as students of American economic history have taken a second look at the evidence on local and regional development. This has been most notable in studies ofPhiladelphia and its hinterland, especially of the colonial period by James Lemon and of the ante-bellum years by Diane Lindstrom. The scholarship ofthese two students indicated that the city-hinterland relationship was of critical importance to understanding growth and development in the Philadelphia region; and that some of the aggregative patterns and trends contended for in the 1960's studies of growth did not accurately describe the realities of eastern Pennsylvania over a long period. 358CIVIL WAR HISTORY Meanwhile, other students were appraising through close localized study the impact of particular transport innovations in their trade regions, as the present reviewer attempted for Ohio and Roger Ransom did for manufacturing in the canal states—identifying such influences on growth as provision of power sites by canal construction, or manipulation of markets by state officials through rate-making on the canals, matters that had largely escaped the attention of the economists who sought to portray aggregative patterns. Finally, the urban geographers, sociologists, and historians, exemplified by Eric Lampard, were making an argument for understanding urbanization as a process through careful localized studies, a research strategy that both inspired and was much advanced by work such as Lemon's. This extended summary of trends in an important field of Middle Period history is provided here because it is this bibliographic setting that makes Roberta Miller's little monograph an interesting and useful contribution. In a tightly compressed but fairly readable analysis, she casts a bright and sharply pinpointed light on Onondaga County, New York, for the period 1820-1860, with some attention to 1790-1820. Her conclusions are hardly startling, in fight of earlier work on canal regions in the Northeast and older Midwest, for she contends that the relationship between the region and national markets, the impact of the Erie Canal, and the urban-hinterland interaction set in motion by interregional transport change, all played a major role in shaping Onondaga County's economy. In the tradition of Thernstrom and Peter Knights, the author also traces spatial mobility and related demographic patterns—something done in no...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 357-358
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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