In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

book reviews281 on how anti-Andrew Johnson members of Congress such as Benjamin F. Butler and James M. Ashley tried to implicate the president in the murder plot. Chamblee continues his research into the closing years of the nineteenth century. As late as the 1890s there were still some who claimed to have firsthand knowledge of the Booth conspiracy. Much of the later information was bigoted in nature and tended to implicate the Catholic Church in the assassination. One person who comes off well in this book is Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The time has come to finally put aside the Otto Eisenschimel allegation that Stanton wanted Lincoln murdered. In 1937 Why Was Lincoln Murdered? (erroneously referred to as Why Was Lincoln Shot? by Chamblee) was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection and consequently reached more readers than otherwise would be the case. How many people saw the title of that book and came to accept the treachery of Stanton can never be known. The truth is that Stanton was loyal to Lincoln and pursued the investigation of his murder with honesty and dispatch. In light of what Chamblee has to say about Stanton, it is surprising to find no mention of Stanton: The Life and Times ofLincoln's Secretary of War (1962) by Benjamin P. Thomas and Harold M. Hyman in the bibliography while several older and inferior biographies of Stanton are cited. William Hanchett's book, too, should have been included in the Selected Bibliography; perhaps the author deliberately stayed away from it. The vital research has been done in government documents, archival material, and records of the various inquiries and trials. There are many people besides the conspirators who are given brief biographical attention in this book. It is a serious work of research and writing. Perhaps there will be no need to have further investigation into Lincoln's assassination for a generation to come unless new revelations turn up—which is improbable . With the publication of this study, it can be said that this is all we know and most likely all that we will ever know about events surrounding those tragic days in April 1865. Lewis H. Croce Mankato State University American Studies in Black and White: Selected Essays, 1949-1989. By Sidney Kaplan. Edited by Allan D. Austin. (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1991. Pp. 336. $39.95.) Perhaps the most impressive feature of this volume of essays is the range and diversity of Sidney Kaplan's subjects and interests. The volume brings together twelve essays written by Kaplan, a historian and black studies scholar, over the course of his career. Eight pieces first appeared in the 1950s or 1960s; two were written in the 1980s. All of the essays examine 282civil war history different features of the African-American experience, or issues concerning white attitudes towards blacks, and cover five different topics: the colonial and revolutionary eras, the Civil War, fiction and fantasy, art, and invention. Although written as many as forty years ago, several of the pieces in this volume have a direct relevance for contemporary scholarly concerns. In this regard, perhaps the most noteworthy contribution is "The Miscegenation Issue in the Election of 1864," an essay that originally appeared in the Journal of Negro History in 1949. Kaplan uncovered the first use of the term miscegenation in a campaign document with this title, issued in 1863. Published anonymously by two antiabolitionist New York Democrats, the authors attempted to present their work as abolitionist literature supportive of the thorough mixing of the races and invited prominent abolitionists and Republicans to respond to their ideas. The conflation of race, sex, region, and politics in both the original document and in the response of various abolitionists offers a fascinating insight into mid-nineteenth century racial and sexual attitudes. Kaplan, however, reads the episode not so much with an eye toward these issues but more with an interest in the workings of the New York press in covering this event. Still, present-day scholars could certainly benefit from Kaplan's presentation of this revealing dialogue. Kaplan does some of his best work in close readings of historical and literary texts. He does...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 281-283
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.