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

178CIVIL WAR HISTORY arship. He also tries to explain what influences, both intellectual and environmental, moved him to write each book. Men like Robert Penn Warren and Reinhold Niebuhr and events like the Great Depression and the civil rights movement shaped his thinking. Also included are wonderful vignettes from Woodward's college and graduate school days. We see him taking his only history course at Emory—a class so wretchedly taught that it all but annihilated his interest in the past. Weseehim in a barn discussing his dream of graduate school with Howard Odum, while the great man weaned a calf. And we see him at the University of North Carolina, stunned by the tedium of post-Civil War scholarship, and wondering if he might yet begin a career as a "fruit-peddler, panhandler , or hack-writer" (p. 22). Such a fine book is sure to be widely read by historians—especially, one suspects, by historians living below the Mason-Dixon line. A myriad of influences, some of them strange to the South, molded Woodward's thought. But the roots of his work stretch back to the hills of Arkansas and the red clay of Georgia. Indeed, Woodward begins Looking Back with words from Chaucer's "Parson's Prologue": I wol ful fayn at Cristes reverence Do yow plesaunce leefful, as I kan. But trusteth wel, I am a southren man. Barton C. Shaw Cedar Crest College and the University of Sheffield Ulrich BonnellPhillips: Historian of the Old South. By Merton L. Dillon. (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1985. Pp. xiii, 190. $20.00.) Ulrich Bonnell Phillips was born twelve years after Appomattox in a cotton belt county of west central Georgia. Growing up in the afterglow of the antebellum plantation regime amidst a society peopled with former owners and ex-slaves clearly shaped his idea of what was important in life. He was to devote his professional career to describing, understanding , and (some would say) celebrating the labor and social system of the Old South. Touched by the Progressive movement, but apparently only within the context ofhis origins, he had dreams of using the past to change the present. "He took for granted the social usefulness of history" (p. 4). His purpose, however, was to make the present more like the past. He believed the South could be made more efficient, prosperous , and satisfied by a return, mutatis mutandis, to the plantation system of old. The war had shattered that system, had destroyed the valuable leadership of the planter class along with the amiable and productive cooperation of masters and slaves. Now the blacks, living on their small farms and deprived of the tutelage of the paternalistic plant- BOOK RENTEWS179 er, were in danger of reverting to barbarism. Phillips's remedy embraced crop diversification and enlarged units of production, that is, plantations operated by trained, educated managers where blacks would as wage laborers resume therelationship with paternalistic whites for which they were suited by the innate qualities of their race. But in the longrun history was more important to Phillips than reform, if only because he found it easier to write superb history than to change things in the real world. And it is again possible, perhaps, to say "superb history." Professor Dillon, whose main concern hitherto has been with abolitionists, was one of that generation of scholars "amongwhom Phillips ' achievement was pushed into obscurity" by critics who charged that the Georgian's "pro-planter bias and his racist views . . . had led him to distort southern history," thus divesting his work "of scholarly— even moral—legitimacy" (p. 1). But then, one might say, Eugene Genovese cried, "Lazarus, come forth!" and Phillips was revived and, with qualifications, made respectable. The author undertakes a measured evaluation ofhis subject's work, repeatedly and punctiliously reminding his readers of Phillips's racialism, pointing out that although he anticipated some recent theories of the role and accomplishments of blacks under slavery, his inability to take blacks seriously kept him from developing such insights and would, when prevailing views on race had changed, bring down upon his writings overwhelming obloquy. More than anything else, Professor Dillon has written the history of an...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 178-179
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.