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358CIVIL WAR HISTORY Lincoln continues to have . . . immortal appeal," and that Lincoln's greatest contribution is to the "political civilizing of the world" (229). Except for a discursive sojourn into the world of sixteenth century Europe , Davies' graceful essay provides insights on Lincoln's transcendent character and offers us a warning that sanctification can arrest contemporary goals by diverting our attention away from today's problems. The two essays by Milton Finley on John C. Calhoun and Andrew Jackson are thin narratives that rely on outdated sources. Finley's assessments of these two natives of South Carolina are as correct as they are obvious. Now that presidential character and ethical standards are expanding dimensions by which politicians are judged, these two anthologies appear well-timed and adequate to the task. These works are complementary and reflect the long shadow cast by the insights of Professor James David Barber. Professor Jeffrey Tulis captures the import of these studies when he observes: Isn't it probable that presidential policy will be better formulated and presidential rhetoric more intelligent if presidents function under the auspices of a public opinion informed by a theory emphasizing policy and reason than by a theory that places a premium on character and style? ( The Barberian Presidency, 248) James Banks Cuyahoga Community College COMMUNICATIONS To the editor: One ofthe most important tasks ofthe historian is to ask the right questions . Harry D. Owens's review of Advice After Appomattox (Civil War History, January 1989) exemplifies this. Judging from the content of his review, the most profound and insightful question hefelt compelled to raise was the meaning of the notation, "Special Volume No. 1 of the Papers of Andrew Johnson." Such an inquiry reveals a special sort ofscholarly concern unusual in reviews. Of course, in the wake of such a startling insight factual misstatements about the book in the review can be dismissed as irrelevant. The discussion ofprevious publication ofsome ofthe letters is a case in point. In fact, only the Chase and Watterson letters have appeared in scholarly journals; indeed , Dr. Owens's sharp eye unaccountably overlooked the presentation of the Chase letters in somewhat different form in Civil War History (1967). COMMUNICATIONS359 Contrary to Dr. Owens's assertion, Truman's correspondence to Johnson has not appeared in print, and Advice AfterAppomattoxdoes not contain Truman's final report, the document which appeared in Senate Executive Documents. Schurz's letters to Johnson have not been published before, and Advice AfterAppomattox, contrary to what Dr. Owens says, does not reprint his lengthy final report. Since Dr. Owens implies that the scholarly journals he cites are easy to consult, it is too bad that he did not do so, for the Schurz letters reprinted in the Georgia Historical Quarterly were newspaper dispatches, not letters to Johnson, and were not reprinted in Advice After Appomattox. Publication in a scholarlyjournal rarely makes information available beyond a select community of scholars, and it was in part to remedy this shortcoming that Advice AfterAppomattoxwas published. Anyone who reads the introductory essays knows that they are not mere summaries of the letters. The Grant essay, for example, does not include a summary ofthe report, but discusses the context and course ofthe generalin -chiefs widely publicized trip. And, by the way, it is Harvey M. Watterson , not Waterson or Waterman, as the Tennessean's name is variously rendered by Dr. Owens. But the matters mentioned above are the sort of details fit only for the notice ofa reviewer who, in rather routine if mundane fashion, seeks to get his information correct by reading the book before he embarks upon criticism . In his review, Dr. Owens operates at a higher level of inquiry which transcends accuracy, for he is after bigger gameā€”the secret revealing the rationale behind the "unexplained bibliographical information." This is scholarly sleuthing at its finest, displaying a sort of intellectual curiosity rarely seen these days. But surely hejests. Other presidential paper projects (a form of documentary editing with which Dr. Owens is acquainted, according to his review) have published supplementary or special volumes or monographs outside the main series. The Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Wilson projects are cases in point. A survey of major...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 358-359
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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