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BOOK REVIEWS187 desire". . . to advance the doctrine of state rights . . ." (p. 9). He did admit a desire to enter the U.S. Senate, but always "my principle being that my first allegiance was to the state of which I was a citizen" (p. 52; see also pp. 138 and 148). As a state righter, naturally Davis was a strict constructionist, and he enunciated this often. James Buchanan once commented upon it, opining in a humorous story that Davis truly was the quintessential strict constructionist (p. 34 n. 49) . Davis stood firmly in support of slavery. Indeed he insisted that "no man who assails the institution" should be appointed to any federal office (p. 22). He was interested in publications that defended the institution , and personally endorsed one book that did so (pp. 85-86). Too, he favored the free expansion of slavery into the territories (p. 30), and he believed "the country on the Pacific is in many respects adapted to slave labor" (p. 142). He genuinely was concerned with promoting sound education, and was profoundly involved with upgrading the quality of instruction at West Point. He urged requirements in foreign languages and other rigorous courses (p. 82). Under his direction the military academy extended the study to a five-year program (although only three classes graduated under that plan). Davis sternly rejected requests by certain cadets that they be allowed to grow beards, and their hair long (pp. 104-6). A number of Davis's significant involvements in furthering the adoption of technological innovation are touched upon. Perhaps none is so intriguing as the army's implementation of a corrugated iron boatwagon, an early precursor of the amphibious vehicle (pp. 106-7). Some of the personal tidbits are amusing. Davis wrote his spouse referring to her as "my dear Waafe" (p. 44). One shudders at the "Cork treatment," that he suggested for their daughter's diarrhoea (p. 46). He wrote to his brother, late in September 1855, that "my health is as good as usual [but] I find my sight failingrapidly under the labors of my present station, and the position has been found as I anticipated [—] neither pleasant nor remunerative" (p. 123). One suspects that he was momentarily weary of public life. Herman Hattaway University of Missouri-Kansas City Kentucky'sGovernors, 1792-1985. Edited by Lowell H. Harrison. (Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, 1986. Pp. xxi, 197. $22.00.) This book is one of the best of its kind. It is hard to resist a slim volume that delivers what its title promises. For the person wanting to find out more about Kentucky's governors, this is the book to consult. Kentucky has had fifty-two governors since its admission to the Union in 1792, including George W. Johnson and Richard Hawes, the gover- 188CIVIL WAR HISTORY nors of Confederate Kentucky. The sketches are written by scholars with special knowledge of the governors and their times. Of the thirtythree contributors, twenty-three are professors of history and the others hold archival or editorial positions. Individually and collectively they have handled their difficult assignments well. The sketches average about 1,200 words each. There is generally a paragraph or two on family background, education, and early experiences ; one or two on the campaign and election; and one or two on the term as governor. As good historians are trained to do, the authors develop the causes and consequences of gubernatorial decisions and give consideration to significant national developments. The book begins with an overview of the governorship by Thomas D. Clark. Although the Bluegrass State has had four constitutions, the powers of the governor have remained basically the same since 1792. He or she serves a single four-year term; a second term can be sought after a four-year hiatus. Clark traces the constitutional and political evolution of the office and ably describes its joys and sorrows. Particularly pithy is the comment of an old ex-govemor who told a group of Kentucky politicians that the two things in his life he never wanted to have again were "gonorrhea and the governorship of Kentucky." A few of the governors have been of national stature—Isaac Shelby, John J...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 187-188
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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