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BOOK REVIEWS269 ever, incorporates and then highly surpasses all such previous efforts. Its author found scraps of information by searching through private and state papers in various depositories in Texas, in the National Archives, in the Library of Congress, and elsewhere. He also turned to various types of county court records and many contemporary newspapers—all this while also going to accounts written soon after the hangings and to modern secondary works that touch on the subject. McCaslin earns praise for his massive research effort. The narrative itself is broken into six chapters. Although the author covers the hangings and hysteria day by day, including the deliberations of the "Citizens Court," which was little more than part of the lynch mob, he does more. In his leading chapter, "Foundations of Dissent," McCaslin discusses the history of Cooke County and its environs prior to the hangings to set the "stage." Further, he also places the story in the context of the general stories of disaffection; as well, he moves beyond discussion of why individuals acted as they did and also considers the wartime military, economic, and social conditions that led to the hangings. Where relevant, he also delves into family relationships and family history. Three appendices add to the value of this volume. Together, they contain names and biographical information on the lynch victims, on the "Citizens Court," and on other participants as well. This reviewer has only one quibble with the author, who stresses the need ofpeople to have "order and security" as motivation for their actions. Likely, all sane, rational people in both past and present want order and security. But the question is, how far does civilization allow them to go, how many extreme acts may they commit, to fill the need? The quibble aside, this reviewer congratulates the author for fine research and fine writing on an important topic. James Smallwood Oklahoma State University Victorian America and the Civil War. By Anne C. Rose. (New York and Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1992. Pp. xiv, 304. $29.95.) To explore the evolution of American culture and personality in the nineteenth century, Anne Rose has undertaken a prospography of seventy-five individuals , fourteen women and sixty-one men, born between 1815 and 1837, whose lives arced through the Civil War into the Gilded Age. Rose's sample consists of eminent Victorians, such men as Richard Henry Dana, Jay Cooke, Matthew Brady, Thomas W. Higginson, O. O. Howard, and Andrew Carnegie and such women as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Chestnut, and Louisa Alcott. Rose's title is something of a misnomer since her emphasis is more on Victorian Americans (not America) than the war. While present, the war is always in the background as Rose focuses her attention on five areas where 270CIVIL WAR HISTORY public and private life intersected for her Victorians: religion, work, leisure, family, and politics. The theme which coheres Rose's pointillistic exploration of culture into a generational portrait is declension, especially religious declension. The Victorians experienced a "quiet erosion" in religious feeling, belief, and practice as they found it difficult (or impossible) to reconcile faith and the world. If religion provided few certainties, neither did work. The Victorians found it difficult to live up to the injunctions of the Protestant ethic when confronted with the reality of capitalist labor; a sizeable number of Rose's male Victorians found it hard to settle on a career and were dissatisfied when they did. As the Victorians lost their faith in transcendental purposes they found consolation in leisure and, above all, the home. Similarly, politics became a civic religion, at least partially assuaging the loss ofreligious faith. In this climate, many Victorians greeted the Civil War as a later generation would greet World War I: with relief that life under wartime would give or restore meaning to their lives. Rose believes that collective biography can illuminate American culture since, as she conceives it, culture "grows from the efforts of individuals to interpret their experience in ways that clarify their lives' purposes." In this, she writes in counterpoint to George Frederickson's The Inner Civil War, which traced the ways in which individual experience affected public life and public...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 269-270
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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