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278 CIVIL WAR HISTORY Chattel, ShveryandWage Shvery: TheAnglo-American Context, 18301860 . By Marcus Cunliffe. Mercer University, Lamar Memorial Lectures, No. 22. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979. Pp. xix, 128. $9.00.) The Lamar Memorial Lecture Series atMercer University has produced some fine and enduring scholarship. Donald Davidson, GeorgeTindall, and Merrill Peterson are among the many who participated in this important series. In 1978 the invitation to deliver the Lamar lecture went to Professor Marcus Cunliffe, the first non-American scholar to be selected. Cunliffe was a splendid choice and this short, but very full volume may be one of the best in a distinguished series. Cunliffe chose an interesting and important topic. He argues that the conflict between free labor and slave labor obscured the fact that both systems were harshly exploitative and further, that some nineteenthcentury observers, Northern and Southern, recognized this problem and insisted that the terms wage slavery and chattel slavery were more accurate descriptions of the Northern and Southern systems. There is nothing strikingly new so far. Richard Hofstadter some years ago alluded to this point; many historians, most notably Eugene Genovese, have since made it explicit. But here Cunliffe moves off on his own. He deals next with the question of wage slavery and chattel slavery in its "Angkx-American context," arguing convincingly that the two nations differed in their definition of slavery (of both sorts) and that this difference was an important component of Anglo-American discord. Finally, in his third chapter, Cunliffe offers his case in point: the hitherto neglected New York abolitionist-turned labor reformer, Charles Edward Lester. Lester was not the perfect model and one suspects that Cunliffe knew this and would have replaced him with a less quixotic spokesman had he been able. But Cunliffe never claims more for Lester than the record permits and if Lester's career is allowed to stand as a point of departure rather than a definitive case in point, Cunliffe's purposes are equally well served. There are the usual minor cavils. The role of the immigrant Catholic church could have been explored more thoroughly as could the antiCatholicism of the abolitionists. But those are major themes in themselves and almost peripheral to Cunliffe's study. To say merely that in a litde over 100 pages Cunliffe has informed our understanding of slavery, abolitionism, labor and diplomacy, and that hehas done so with style and wit is all the praise the book needs. David M. Emmons University of Montana The Orphan Brigade: The Kentucky Confederates Who Couldn't Go Home. By William C. Davis. (Garden City: Doubleday & Company, 1980. Pp. 318. $12.95.) Civil War Kentucky has always attracted good writers and historians ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
p. 278
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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