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3?6CIVIL WAR HISTORY virtually irresoluble, and turned the conflict that followed into something of a holy war. Cawardine makes a good case, but certain cautions to readers too hasty to read the caveats in his measured prose are in order. To show that evangelical Protestants reacted to events does not show how far they actually influenced them. Limitations are built into the sources that this book uses—as there are to any sources. Not a bit surprisingly, religious magazines and ministers, when they dealt with the secular world, brought religion into it. That does not necessarily show that when their parishioners responded to events, they put the moral dimension foremost. Something more than we see here is needed to show that the church people were themselves driving forces in public debate. A good case in point would be the i860 campaign. Clearly, all parties were glad to have backing in the pulpit, and Republicans went out of their way to earn their nickname, "the party of moral ideas." But looking at their campaign as a whole, the hosts of virtue look somewhat less prominent than they would seem from readng Cawardine's chapter 9. A party deep-dyed in piety could have chosen praying Salmon Chase; it chose Lincoln, a non-churchgoer. But that hardly mattered to the delegates in Chicago. Assembling a majority in the North, Republicanism had to appeal to self-interest, fear, patriotism, and to the skeptical and secular Americans. Fierce Protestantism would scare off groups that the party could not do without. So it was in other years. Whigs could always try to earn churchgoers' blessing for their nominees by appropriate political packaging. But it seemed rather an afterthought. They tended to choose people who would need pretty diligent justifying, infidels and the heroes of wars that many Northern evangelicals deplored . Any evangelical could tell the managers that one with God was in the majority; the managers might admit it, but as they knew, many a martyr burned at the stake while the votes were still being counted. Mark Wahlgren Summers University of Kentucky Frederick Douglass: Freedom 's Voice, 1818-45. By Gregory R Lampe. (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1998. Pp. xiii, 350. $45.00, cloth; $22.95, paper.) Frederick Douglass: Freedom's Voice, 1818-45 represents an interesting and valuable contribution to understanding the career of this important historical figure. Gregory P. Lampe reexamines prevalent notions about Douglass's early years as abolitionist orator, specifically, that Douglass had enjoyed little training as a public speaker before becoming a full-time abolitionist activist in the early 1 840s and that during the first years of his career he displayed little if any independence from the white abolitionists who sponsored him. Lampe shows BOOK REVIEWS3O7 that Douglass was better prepared for an oratorical career and a more autonomous figure in his early years as full-time abolitionist than previous biographers have acknowledged. Lampe comes to these conclusions by emphasizing those elements in Douglass's background that helped prepare him for a career as a public speaker and by probing to an unprecedented extent newspaper accounts and other sources that document Douglass's activities between 1839 and 1845 (the years during which he came into prominence). In fact, the author is quite critical of other Douglass scholars, such as John W. Blassingame, Benjamin Quarles, Raymond Gerald Fulkerson, and William S. McFeely, accusing them of committing numerous "errors and omissions when documenting Douglass's oratorical activities during this period" (xi). Frederick Douglass himselfdoes not escape criticism in this regard. Lampe indicates that throughout his career, Douglass, with a sense of false modesty, downplayed his preparation as a public speaker. In other words, while acknowledging Frederick Douglass's considerable oratorical gifts, Lampe demonstrates that they did not spring forth spontaneously in the early 1 840s. Instead, he shows the importance of oral culture in the slave community and how it sensitized the young Douglass to the power of the spoken word. Lampe then moves on to Douglass's years as a youth in Baltimore. In this urban setting, Douglass became literate and by accident discovered Caleb Bingham's Columbian Orator, a prescriptive book on public speaking. Literacy...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 306-308
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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