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86CIVIL WAR HISTORY the President's attitude was one of "confrontation, not compromise" (p. 170). Quite the contrary. Had he really been so "bloody" minded he could have found any number of excuses, as he had in the past, to lead an army into South Carolina. There are flaws and errors in the book that are unworthy of this scrupulous scholar. Aside from a number of unfortunate typos, Churchill C. Cambreleng's name is consistently misspelled in the text, in the notes, and in the index, as is Samuel R. Gammon's on at least one occasion; the letter Jackson wrote on April 9, 1833 went to John Coffee, not John Crawford, and Augustus C. Buell's biography of Jackson may be good for some apocryphal stories but hardly as a source to support an argument . Still these are all rather minor complaints and in no way seriously diminish the genuine importance of this splendid little book. Robert V. Remini University of Illinois at Chicago A Character of Hugh Legaré. By Michael O'Brien. (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1985. Pp. xiii, 356. $29.95.) Michael O'Brien has presented historians with a challenging portrait of one of the Old South's most important intellects—Charlestonian Hugh Legaré. This is not a biography to be read in haste; O'Brien does not guide his readers through Legaré's lifewith generalizations from current historiographical controversies, nor does he condescend by simplifying Legaré. Instead, he recreates and examines the mental world of this prodigy, often relying upon Legaré's own words. The text is laced with references to major and minor figures in western intellectual history; foreign language passages are never translated, and occasionally an English-language dictionary is needed to decode O'Brien. But the effort in reading is more than amply rewarded. O'Brien's knowledgeable analysis demonstrates how Legaré integrated diverse influences into a distinctive critical view. In the Southern Review and elsewhere, Legaré manifested contemporary tensions between classical and romantic sensibilities; O'Brien explores those tensions in Legaré's literary criticism, social thought, and political theorizing . Like Cicero, for whom Legaré held an "incestuous affection," ( 108) the critic's greatest interests were in politics and law, as they were imbedded in society and considered philosophically (butnever metaphysically ). For Legaré, slavery was not a positive good, and defense of slavery was not a major preoccupation, but the persistent necessity for southern slavery flowed logically from his conservative philosophy. Without losing his focus upon Legaré's intellectual life, O'Brien situates him in South Carolina's peculiar society and politics, elucidating the conjunction of Legaré's intellectual and political ambitions. O'Brien's account of Legaré's career as congressman (1837-1839) and member of BOOK REVIEWS87 the Tyler cabinet (1841-1843) is sure and deft. Although Legaré's political influence was not broad, O'Brien suggests that his early death may have prevented his shaping American jurisprudence to reflect abalance between the principles embodied in common and civil law traditions. O'Brien gives us a sympathetic but never adulatory portrait of Legaré the man, psychologicallyburdened by physical deformity, but devoted to his family and engaged in society. Although he interprets personal matters, such as Legaré's relations with women, O'Brien is always respectful—perhaps more distant than is currently fashionable, but surely not to a fault. O'Brien's tone sometimes echoes Legaré's own ironic temper, but irony does not trivialize the human dignity of his subject , even in the almost macabre account of Legaré's death. Too much of southern intellectual history rests on misconceptions, southerners' ideas filtered through more modern values. A Character of Hugh Legaré suggests how muchwe have misconstrued the mind of the old South and how important O'Brien's contributions to a new interpretation will become. J OHANNA N ICOL S HIELDS The University of Alabama in Huntsville The Fiery Trail: A Union Officer's Account of Sherman's Last Campaign . Edited by Richard Harwell and Philip N. Racine; Foreword by William S. McFeely. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986. Pp. xliv, 238. $22.50.) The story of Sherman's relentless march to the sea and through the Carolinas has...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 86-87
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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