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188CIVIL WAR HISTORY tained by Abraham Lincoln and to a lesser extent by Andrew Johnson, the secretary of state prevailed, and he emerges in these pages as the chief obstacle to Romero's aims. Although he had the support of General Grant and Senators Wade and Chandler, and managed to enlist many journalists as well, he never succeeded in obtaining the decided American intervention he desired, not even after the Civil War had ended. Professor Schoonover's introductory notes, both to the book and to the individual chapters, are most helpful. Unfortunately, however, they are not very detailed. It would have been useful had the editor supplied some information about the reasons for Seward's hesitation in complyingwith Romero's wishes and had he explained in more detail the conditions in Mexico which led Romero to make some of his more extravagant charges. As it is, it would be impossible to conclude from this volume that the secretary of state's policy had some merit. After all, the United States was involved in an all-absorbing civil war, and it could hardly afford to add France to its enemies. And after the war was over, Seward knew that a policy of watchful waiting would induce Napoleon III to withdraw from Mexico without an open rupture with the United States. Beset by European difficulties and conscious of American power, the emperor had to recall his army, and he made it sufficiently clear to the State Department that he would shortly abandon his imperialistventure in North America. Thus Seward was able to avoid an open rupture with France, and his policy, though unpalatable for Romero, was in the best interests of the United States. In spite of this shortcoming, the scholarly community is indebted to Professor Schoonover for his meticulous work. It is to be hoped that he will undertake a second volume devoted to Romero's comments on American domestic affairs. HansL. Trefousse Brooklyn College and Grad. Center, CUNY James Gordon Bennett and the New York Herald: A Study of Editorial Opinion in the Civil War Era, 1854-1867. By Douglas Fermer. (Woodbridge : The Boydell Press and New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. Pp. viii, 376. $29.95.) Historians of the Civil War period have needed a monograph that systematically examines the politics of the New York Herald and its colorful proprietor and editor James Gordon Bennett. Douglas Fermer has fulfilled the need. Fermer presents Bennett as an entrepreneur who tried to increase the Herald's circulation by dramatizing what he divined as the public taste. Bennett was also a strong, authoritarian personality who hungered for recognition. These traits explain both his paper's large circulation and why in an age when most newspapers were tied to political parties or BOOK REVIEWS189 factions it remained independent. By examining an independent journal in a time of political upheaval, the book also provides an insight into political culture. Bennett approached politics as a conversative. An ardent white supremacist , he denounced abolitionists and antislavery politicians as traitors and pled the case for slavery and the South. An immigrant from Scotland, he demanded that all new arrivals "Americanize" themselves. He trumpeted the virtues of American society and advocated an aggressive , nationalistic foreign policy, largely at the expense of Great Britain. At the same time he honored America's religious toleration and never sympathized with the Know-Nothings, though he was willing to associate with them for political convenience. On behalf of the average citizen and taxpayer he railed against corruption in government and the narrow pursuit of material wealth that made it possible. In the meantime, Bennett maneuvered among political factions and leaders, always on the lookout for someone to hate. He denounced William H. Seward for being an abolitionist, Franklin Pierce for not giving him a diplomatic appointment, and the New York Democracy's "Albany Regency" for doing business with the free-soil Barnburners. His hatreds bounced him into some uncomfortable alliances, most notably with New York City's Fernando Wood. Diluting his venom was his desire for preferment, and as long as there was a chance for personal recognition he was willing to court the powerful. He carried this to a kind...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 188-190
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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