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326civil war history figure. The testimony collected in the unsuccessful federal prosecution of men alleged to be involved in the murder and in the Congressional investigation of the 1 888 election, contemporary newspaper articles on the case and Arkansas society, with the addition even of modem folklore about the assassination provide the keys to Barnes's analysis. If this microscopic history reflects the approaches of European historians Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Carlo Ginzburg, or Giovanni Levi, Barnes's own training in European history probably accounts for the fact. Barnes finds the origins of the Clayton murder in the Civil War, which divided Conway County into factions based largely on region and class and whose members readily killed each other to achieve their ends. A war begun as a part of the great national crisis could hardly end locally with the surrender of the Confederate armies. Once unleashed, this violent struggle for local power continued into the postwar years and the intense feelings generated by the war made it possible for the continued use of violence to resolve the conflict. Especially in the 1 88os, when a potential coalition between white subsistence farmers and African Americans within Conway County threatened the electoral majority of white elites, the latter had little recourse but to use violence as a political weapon when politics as usual would not maintain their power. And the twenty years of violence that had preceded this era provided a context that made its use acceptable. The very success of violence in the Clayton case promoted its continued use in destroying opponents to elite power through the rest of the century. As in all such case studies, the reader might question the typicality of this incident, whether or not Conway County represents the social dynamics of the rest of the new South, yet Barnes's close-up look at this community is a jarring reminder of the fragility of life in the postwar South. In a modem age of relatively nonviolent if not peaceful political struggles, it offers a graphic picture of how at leastone group ofpolitical leaders brutally crushed a viableAfricanAmerican community, which included property-owners and professionals, and destroyed many of their white allies, all in the name of holding on to political power. Anyone interested in the development ofthe South from the years ofthe Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century will find this study worth examining. Carl H. Moneyhon University of Arkansas, Little Rock Angels in the Machinery: Gender inAmerican Party Politicsfrom the Civil War to the Progressive Era. By Rebecca Edwards. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Pp. 232. $39.95, cloth; 18.95, paper.) Gilded Age men and women cared deeply about politics. Their strong partisan attachments, historians have argued, reflected competing ethnocultural values book reviews327 and divergent responses to modernization. Rebecca Edwards has added a new wrinkle to this old debate; she asserts that gender distinguished parties as starkly as the economy, civil service reform, and evangelicalism. Gender shaped antebellum politics, but Edwards focuses primarily on the Third Party System. Democrats, especially Southerners, thought social order rested on patriarchal underpinnings. A pugnacious masculinity helped Democrats , tarred with the stigma of secession, recoup after 1865. Democratic patriarchy diverged from the Republicans' maternal family, in which men controlled their emotions and acknowledged the moral superiority ofwomen. Unlike Democrats , Republican men promoted women's political activism and government reforms that protected the home. Tariff debates and the spread of the consumer economy produced new ways of thinking about gender. Reform Democrats attacked Republican tariffs; this offensive included overtures to female consumers, thus pilfering tactics formerly used exclusively by Republicans. Democrats maintained their patriarchal ideal by appealing to women as domestic consumers, not moral guardians. Republicans refuted Democratic slander. High tariffs spurred economic growth, thereby helping well-paid male workers earn a family wage. By 1892 artisan leaders portrayed women's civic lives as extensions of their economic ones. The brutal depression of the 1890s shocked Americans. Many blamed the major parties and pinned their hopes for recovery on Populism. Populist programs included new roles for women as well as the state. Populists, excepting Southerners, treated women as full party members, and Populist women campaigned more...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 326-328
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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