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256CIVIL WAR HISTORY press, such an endeavor simply reflected the laws of supply and demand. Southern counterparts lacked both technicians and technology to follow suit. Once more, the North, or Union, proved its superiority in a manner that benefited the reading public's comprehension and information gathering. Bosse does little with the political ramifications of such public education. Nor does his text do justice to issues of press-military relations or the question oftreasonable implication of publishing maps that helped the enemy. His brief battle synopses accompanying the atlas plates could easily be omitted and replaced with meatier coverage of the truly historical issues surrounding the Civil War version of today's mass media coverage of bloodshed in Somalia , Bosnia, or the Russian parliament. His forte, however, lies with showing how the technology of map making combined with the use of telegraph, railroad, a corps ofjournalists, and mass readership meshed to satiate the interest of readers concerned with loved ones and friends fighting and dying in exotic places like Shiloh, Antietam, or Gettysburg. His most telling conclusion holds that journalistic maps helped diffuse military and geographical information in a manner that helped the homefront better understand the trauma and national crisis. Whether or not such a device increased the politicomilitary problems of the Lincoln administration lies beyond Bosse's focus. If little more than curiosities to us today, newspapers and their maps (and artistic sketches) did inform a generation. They also helped sell newspapers in the best American fashion of wartime profiteering from national distress. Readers will search elsewhere for the weightier questions and answers. Bosse suffices to place yet another piece into the mosaic of the Middle Period. Literature on this topic is thereby the richer for his effort. Benjamin Franklin Cooling Washington, D.C. Private and Confidential: Lettersfrom British Ministers in Washington to the Foreign Secretaries in London, 1844-67. Edited by James J. Barnes and Patience P. Barnes. (Cranbury, N.J.: Susquehanna University Press, 1993. Pp- 475ยท $59-50) This fairly rich collection of "private and confidential" correspondence encompasses numerous topics affecting Anglo-American relations, most notably the Oregon issue, Central America, the Crimean War, and the crisis over British intervention in the Civil War. Other British letters of this sort fell into the category of "public," those that Parliament could publish in diplomatic Blue Books, or "semiprivate," those documents usually not open to public perusal. The letters included in this volume did not become part ofthe British Foreign Office archives unless the foreign secretary specifically had them "placed on record" (12). Though some of the items derive from the Public Record Office, most come from private collections, the Bodleian Library of Oxford University, the Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Liverpool BOOK REVIEWS257 Record Office, the British Library, and the Library of Congress in Washington , D.C. The documents demonstrate how six British ministers viewed the American domestic scene and sent candid analyses to London that in turn affected British policy. As samples, the exchange of correspondence shows the confusion experienced by British minister Sir Richard Pakenham in dealing with the Polk administration over the Oregon question. A breakdown in communications developed between Pakenham and his superiors in London that was attributable primarily to Foreign Secretary Lord Aberdeen rather than to his much-maligned minister in Washington. The letters also demonstrate Britain 's initial failure to foresee the impact of the Civil War on Anglo-American relations. The major concern of British minister Lord Lyons in Washington was to prevent Union interference with British trade. In a simplistic approach to the issue, he thought it better that his government recognize the Confederacy than to enter a dispute over the Union attempt to bar British ships from Southern ports. Such a proposal might have been in accordance with international law, but it was not realistic: in this and other issues affecting intervention , Lyons failed to see that recognition would legitimize secession and thereby undermine Lincoln's efforts to preserve the Union. Although the British remained neutral throughout the contest, they continually grappled with the Americans over the Trent affair, intervention crisis, mediation, and the believed purposeful incitation of slave insurrections by the Emancipation Proclamation. Despite some weaknesses, this volume...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 256-257
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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