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350CIVIL WAR HISTORY where the triumph of bourgeois capitalist individualism was having interesting effects on what women were thinking, doing, and being allowed to say. This focus also tends to emphasize the interaction between black and white women as they both found their own definitions of gender shaped by the divisions of class and race. Thus, the author does not greatly emphasize the role of slave women within their own community. Her portrait is less full and detailed for black women than white, if only because for compelling reasons, slave women were not much in the habit of keeping diaries. Obviously, the author's focus does not permit discourse on Southern white women who did not own slaves. The sources themselves drive anyone toward the larger farming units of the South. The complexity and subtlety of the author's analysis is such that any summary here necessarily results in oversimplification. Among her more striking emphases is the reluctant conclusion that white slaveholding women were, if anything, more racially contemptuous toward blacks than white men were. She makes a largely convincing case that most slaveholding women did not really oppose the system of labor from which they so greatly benefited; on this matter, her discussion of Mary Boykin Chesnut is both sparkling and devastating. In general, she takes the view that the war was a major breaking point for slaveholding women of a preponderantly rural society. At one point she makes the intriguing suggestion that "as southern society coalesced, slaveholders and slaves alike showed a growing propensity to differentiate slave women from their men" (307). The notion of societies "coalescing" may make some people uncomfortable, and, unlike virtually every other such assertion in this book, this one is not well supported and might have been better expressed more tentatively. What the author is not tentative about—and clearly does not need to be—is her view that the world of the women of these households, and the world these households operated in, were overwhelmingly dominated in a hierarchy of gender. Her analysis of this overweening fact is skillful, and it is especially important because the fact itself is so obvious that it has been the object of negligence and obtusity. Winthrop D. Jordan University of Mississippi The Lincoln Family Album: Photographs from the Personal Collection of a Historic American Family. By Mark E. Neely, Jr., and Harold Hölzer. (New York: Doubleday, 1990. Pp. xiv, 172. $35.00.) Like many Victorian women (including Victoria herself), Mary Todd Lincoln was an avid collector of photographic cartes de visite of celebrities and family members coming into vogue as her husband Abraham took up the duties of the presidency. Until her enthusiasm for this hobby BOOK REVIEWS351 was dampened by the death of her third and favorite son Willie in 1862, Mary Lincoln amassed these likenesses as modern youngsters collect the bubblegum cards of athletes, placing them in a handsome French leather album with embossed initials "AL," a welcomed respite from such duties as intriguing for patronage plums for kinsmen and favorites, and running up extravagant debts on White House furnishings and personal apparel. She added sparingly to her album during the last two sad decades of her life and bequeathed it to her reclusive surviving son, Robert, whose own family rites of passage added to a growing accumulation of photographic remembrances of Lincoln's family, as did succeeding generations down to the 1985 death of Lincoln's final descendant, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith. By then, this pictorial archive filled a large trunk and spilled over into drawers and closets. Acquired by the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company for its Louis A. Warren Lincoln Library and Museum of Fort Wayne, Indiana, these thousands of photographs afford intimate insights into this most reclusive and controversial of American families. At first glance, The Lincoln Family Album resembles the typical sort of coffee-table picture book subsidized by wealthy patrons to show off new baubles. Indeed, this is all the volume might have been under the aegis of scholars less gifted and meticulous than Neely and Hölzer, twothirds of the triad responsible for the immensely valuable studies of Civil War graphic arts, The Lincoln Image and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 350-352
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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