In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS283 other events of 1865," prodded Northerners toward the radical Reconstruction program of 1867 (p. 231). Carter pursues this theme to the further conclusion that the préexistant racist conviction of the white South as a whole was primarily responsible for the failure of self-reconstruction in the South. This is not a new thesis, but it remains a debatable one. While racism was certainly an overwhelming ideological heritage, it was also an integral part of a new struggle for power, profit, and place in the postwar South. In this reviewer's opinion, that integral relationship is not adequately considered. Carter does not explore the elitist nature of politics, or the function of racist propaganda, nor does he thoroughly analyze that familiar Southern tie between racism and a cheap, black labor supply. Carter's major interpretive concern appears to be the conflict between his own rejection of the principles of Soudiern white leaders and his struggle to understand dieir limitations and appreciate the difficulties diey faced. He becomes so immersed in die details ofdiis paradox diat he slides by a variety of intriguing interpretive questions that are raised. For example , after both condemning the Black Codes as racist and crediting them with being a revolutionary improvement over antebellum law, he faults the North for neglecting that latter fact. He does not, however, pursue the related implications. The failure to do so on this and other matters (including the impact of Andrew Johnson's policies) leaves his overall analysis incomplete. This same difficulty characterizes Carter's conclusion that Reconstruction alternatives did exist. Thus, while he persuasively rejects the viability of familiar radical alternatives, whether from the North or from within the South, he offers no developed alternatives ofhis own. This leaves hanging his own major conclusion that the policies of the dominant leaders of this period were, in fact, the best the white Soudi could offert This final speculative concern may be unfair, since it is the task of the historian to explain what did happen rather than what did not. Undoubtedly Professor Carter has provided us with a stimulating, detailed, and unusually appreciative account ofwhite leadership and policy problems in the early postwar South. His challenging analysis deserves an attentive response and it should be required reading for all serious students of Reconstruction history. Otto H. Olsen Northern Illinois University Notes Illustrating the Military Geography ofthe United States, 1813-1880. By Raphael P Thian. Edited by John M. Carroll. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979. Pp. 203. $17.50.) Raphael Thian's work on United States military geography, a fundamental source for military research, has long been unavailable to most users because it was published by die Adjutant General's Office in 1881 and not 284CIVIL WAR HISTORY reprinted until the appearance recently. Editor John M. Carroll and the University ofTexas Press have performed an important service for military historians by once again making its valuable data convenient to students of this discipline. The book is especially useful when used with R. B. Heitman 's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, another indispensable reference book for military historians. Thian was born in France sometime in 1829 or 1830. This son ofa soldier of Napoleon was destined for a military career, but instead of serving his native country he sailed for America in 1850, going first to Canada. He dien enlisted in the United States Army in 1851 and served for sixty-one years, fifty of them in the Adjutant General's Office. Thian's military geography includes facts about military divisions, districts , departments, and Reconstruction districts. It includes the dates of their creation, their commanders, and their geographical boundaries. It associates states and territories of the United States with the military departments or districts appropriate to them. It includes a list ofexecutive officers, secretaries of war, generals-in-chief, and adjutant generals, and has an index of commands and an index of their commanders. It also contains four fold-out charts. Three are devoted to a chronological scale of all military divisions, districts, and departments from 1813 to 1880 that show the month and year of the creation of all military divisions, their commanders, and other...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 283-284
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.