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274CIVIL WAR HISTORY disturbed by this seeming flaw in the character of such an upstanding young man since this "poses the question ofhis sensitivity to human value" (p. 233). An excellent opportunity to pierce the aristocratic armor of the young officer comes when the author introduces us to Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew, a true romantic Southerner in the old tradition. After an excellent discussion of Pettigrew and his character, Davis draws a comparison between Henry Burgwyn and his brigade commander. Unfortunately Henry's armor remains intact. The last chapters are devoted to the events leading up to that first day at Gettysburg when Colonel Henry King Burgwyn ofthe Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment led his men into McPherson's Woods occupied by the redoubtable wool-hatted Iron Brigade. The Twenty-sixth emerged victorious but their colonel, shot through both lungs, bled to death and was buried under a walnut tree near the Chambersburg Pike. His entire life, as told by Davis, seems to have been directed toward this glorious end. This is a "drums and trumpet" book for Civil War buffs, especially those with an interest in the role of North Carolina in the early years of the war. Because ofhis inability to come to grips with the "Boy Colonel," the author would have been better advised to center the story around the exploits of the men ofthe Twenty-sixth North Carolina who emerge as far more admirable than their commanding officer. Carlton B. Smith James Madison University Abraham Lincoln and the American Political Tradition. Edited by John L. Thomas. (Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1986. Pp. 200. $20.00.) Transforming a series of lectures into a published volume is always a difficult task. Informal talks do not often withstand the careful scrutiny they invite as written pieces. Authors must rework their oral presentations to meet the needs of a new and more demanding audience. Editor John L. Thomas is only partially successful in overseeing this revision and creating a book ofessays from papers delivered in 1984 at a Brown University conference on Abraham Lincoln. Many of the contributions to his Abraham Lincoln and the American Political Tradition remain public lectures, and though as lectures they raise interesting questions, most of them lack the developed argumentation normally expected offinished articles. Robert H. Wiebe's contribution, "Lincoln's Fraternal Democracy," is one of the most provocative essays in the collection. Wiebe seeks the source of Lincoln's famed compassion and discovers it in his strong fraternal ties. Jacksonian America broke down traditional societal divisions and so created a need for new boundaries and lines of demarcation. Lincoln, explains Wiebe, found security behind the barriers of the male- BOOK REVIEWS275 dominated political world. Within this "exclusionary egalitarian community " (p. 16), he developed deep emotional bonds. When death in combat took the lives of so many men, Lincoln's attachment to this fraternal community kindled in him a profound sorrow that he expressed with great eloquence. This argument is intriguing, but to make it convincing Wiebe needs to evaluate the relationship between Lincoln's personality and his dependence on a male community. Wiebe analyzes Jacksonian society, but leaves Lincoln's character largely unexamined. Don E. Fehrenbacher's "The Words of Lincoln" demonstrates the inaccuracy of a number of Lincoln quotations used by historians, and issues a common sense set of rules to guide historians through the "treacherous ground" (p. 39) of Lincoln research. Though limited in its scope, Fehrenbacher 's piece does provide a helpful, cautionary note for those engaged in Lincoln work. Stephen B. Oates's contribution, "Abraham Lincoln: Republican in the White House" is the least developed essay in the volume. Angered by those who claim that Lincoln as president was influenced by his Whig past, Oates insists instead that the war experience transformed Lincoln into a Republican with new ideas and a new politics that had nothing whatsoever to do with the Whig party. Oates is clearly correct to argue that much of what Lincoln said and did was not in the Whig tradition, but it is difficult to conclude diat a man who remained aloyal Whig well into middle age was as free ofhis former political attachments...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 274-276
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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