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278civil war history Beauregard sees Bingham as a "restorationist," rather than placing his subject on the more traditional radical-moderate-conservative continuum . In the section on the post-Civil War, the two related but complex issues of Reconstruction and impeachment tend to get blurred. A separate chapter on each might have added clarity. Bingham's last political office, envoy to Japan, was a typical political patrimony by a grateful President Grant. The fact that Bingham knew next to nothing about Japan or American foreign policy was all too common in our statecraft during the "gilded age." By far the most interesting aspect of the Bingham story is his role in civil rights debate in 1866, and his leadership in the crafting of the Fourteenth Amendment. Bingham's stand against racial discrimination became clear in his drafting of the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment in which Congress would now have express power to enforce a federal guarantee of equality. The prohibition against State discrimination emerged later in the debate and would set the stage for the historic antidiscrimination suits of the 1950s. Those revolutionary words that prohibit "any State" from depriving "any person of life, liberty, or property" unlocked the door of segregation. The strategy of the NAACP in preparation for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education litigation focused on Bingham's speeches to fathom his intent regarding statesanctioned discrimination. Beauregard could have made this a compelling aspect of Bingham's greatest legacy. The nation is indebted to John Bingham. He used his intellect and moral force to bring the freedman under the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment, even though the Supreme Court did not see his "intent" until 1954. Hopefully, this slim volume by Beauregard will keep the Bingham story alive, and provide a needed foundation for additional studies of John Armor Bingham. James Banks Cuyahoga Community College Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868. By Brooks D. Simpson. (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1991. Pp. xx, 339. $34.95.) Long dismissed as first in war but last in peace, the perpetual holder (along with Warren G. Harding) of the booby prize in the presidential ratings' sweepstakes, Ulysses S. Grant, may at last be winning the historiographie wars. For over a century Grant's political reputation has been battered by charges ranging from Henry Adams's snobbish dismissal of him as an inarticulate troglodyte to William McFeeley's more recent imputations of racism. Spurred by the publication of the monumental book reviews279 U.S. Grant Papers, by the analogous rehabilitation of Dwight Eisenhower and, perhaps, by the natural inclination of historians to be contrary , a perceptible Grant boom is underway. With Let Us Have Peace (which was Grant's catchy slogan in the presidential campaign of 1868), Brooks Simpson adds to Grant's luster by further refuting the durable chestnut that there were two Grants: Grant the Good (the soldier) and Grant the Inept (the politician). Following the lead of John Y. Simon (whose articles on this point are unmentioned in the bibliography), Simpson argues that Grant's career was all of a piece; that, indeed, in a civil war military and political functions are too inextricably intertwined to be separated. Grant succeeded as a general, Simpson argues, because he understood the political implications of the conflict and because he handled them with consummate skill. (The case is strengthened by Simpson's avoidance of Grant's ill-considered Jewish expulsion order.) In particular, two potentially conflicting goals had to be delicately balanced. On the one hand, General Grant had to protect and, at the proper time, employ the freedmen cut adrift by war and emancipation. On the other hand, he had to avoid driving white Southerners into the desperation of guerrilla warfare or postwar resistance. In regard to racial matters, Grant displayed an astute sense of timing. Unlike John C. Fremont, who was prematurely pro-emancipation, or George B. McClellan, who stubbornly resisted it, Grant's thinking evolved in step with Lincoln's. Initially skeptical, he became an enthusiastic supporter of black troops and (pace William McFeeley) their sincere defender against Confederate retaliation and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 278-280
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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