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92CIVIL WAR HISTORY rience of defeat to offer a unique perspective about American mission and omnipotence. Indeed, one can draw revealing and instructive comparisons between the southern reaction to defeat and Americans' coming to terms with the Vietnam debacle. Some reservations remain. Foster's assertion that thenature of the appeal of the Lost Cause changed over time could have been bolstered through the application of content analysis and quantitative comparisons of the topics covered in Southern Historical Society Publications with The Confederate Veteran. Although the Virginians' efforts at Confederate "revitalization" or redemption may have failed, many of the historical interpretations they advanced, including the explanation that defeat was simply a matter of might overwhelming right, proved quite durable; until recently their concerns set the terms of the debate over much of Civil War military history. A comparison of membership of the UCV with that of the Farmer's Alliances would have been suggestive, since Foster argues that the Lost Cause and the Populist appeal offered alternative responses to the advent of industrial capitalism in the South. Were these organizations actually competing for southerners' allegiances , or did they draw upon different segments of the population? These caveats should not overshadow Foster's achievement in offering an interpretation which successfully places the Lost Cause at the center of the psychological transition between the Old and the New South. One closes the book wonderingwhy historians have failed to pay as much attention to northerners' historical consciousness about the Civil War. What did Appomattox and its legacy mean to the victors? Answers to this question would enable us to evaluate the Lost Cause in a meaningful comparative context, for northerners too viewed the advent of an urban industrial corporate society with misgivings and uncertainty. Perhaps this provocative book will stimulate similar inquiries into the mind of the postwar North. Brooks D. Simpson Wofford College Farm Tenancy and the Census in Antebellum Georgia. By Frederick A. Bode and Donald E. Ginter. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986. Pp. xxi, 278. $27.00.) Southern Capitalists: The IdeologicalLeadership of an Elite, 1832-1885. By Laurence Shore. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986. Pp. xii, 282. $29.95.) These two books on the nineteenth-century South, both by Canadian historians, are quite different in methodology. Both have much to offer but have substantial shortcomings as well. Bode and Ginter's Farm Tenancy and the Census in Antebellum Georgia is a detailed analysis of the 1860 manuscript census. The authors book reviews93 argue that the extent of tenancy among white farmers has been underestimated . They attack the dual economy model used by Eugene Genovese and Stephen Hahn, contending that the small farmers of the upcountry were often dependent on commercial exchange—because many were tenants growing cash crops. They thus describe as "fundamentally misleading" Hahn's view of the "white antebellum yeomanry falling into a dependent tenantry" after the Civil War (p. 185). Though the census did not explicitly examine land rental until 1880, the authors estimate the extent of antebellum tenantry. They maintain that those individuals listed as farmers, but reporting no real property, had to be tenants. The census enumerators pinpointed these "farmers without farms" through leaving certain entries blank. The plausibility of this technique is augmented by the fact that some census takers wrote "tenant" alongside themissingfigures, demonstrating that the technique is accurate for at least some areas. If the authors' extrapolations are generally correct, the rates of tenancy were indeed high. Bode and Ginter find that over forty per cent of the farmers in the mountain regions were tenants (p. 5). Despite the care lavished by the authors in deriving their estimates, there is reason to question their thesis. The evidence on tenantry is taken from the 1860 census, and this is a limited basis upon which to discuss antebellum trends as a whole, given the expansion of the southern railroad network during the period. More significantly, the authors examine too few of the existing literary sources on rural Georgia—no newspapers , so far as I can tell—and are unable to provide contemporary support for their conclusions. Some literary evidence should exist if tenantry was as widespread as the authors indicate. Bode...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 92-94
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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