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T H E A L A B A M A R E V I E W 224 Editor John C. Carter, a McClellan descendent, does an exemplary job of compiling letters from family collections in Tennessee and collections at the University of Chapel Hill, Duke University, and Limestone County archives to present an extremely well-rounded portrayal of the war’s impact on McClellan, his family, and neighbors. Most of the collection dates from the first two years of the war, and readers will likely wish that more of the correspondence from later years survived, but the editor makes careful note of disruptions that may have interfered with the correspondence, including McClellan’s long-awaited furlough in December 1863. The introductions to each of the eleven chapters provide an overview of military and political events during McClellan’s service and do much to remedy the regrettable lapses in the letters. Five appendices present additional information on the Ninth Alabama Infantry, including casualties, rosters, and McClellan’s service record. More than sixty pages of annotations provide valuable information for historians and genealogists alike, while the four maps and comprehensive bibliography serve as important resources. The editor and the University of Alabama press should be commended for producing this compelling and comprehensive volume. It is a welcome addition to the published resources on Alabama’s Civil War experience and it is of clear value to all readers interested in Confederate soldiers’ experiences. CHRISTINE DEE Fitchburg State College All Guts and No Glory: An Alabama Coach’s Memoir of Desegregating College Athletics. By Bill Elder. Montgomery: NewSouth Books, 2007. 143 pp. $23.95. ISBN 978-1-58838-209-2. In this brief sports memoir, retired coach and athletic administrator Bill Elder recounts his experiences and frustrations while integrating junior college basketball in northeastern Alabama in the early 1970s. Elder observes that the desegregation of athletic programs at major colleges such as the University of Alabama has attracted considerable attention, while similar events at junior colleges or isolated small colleges have been mostly ignored. Nonetheless, he J U L Y 2 0 0 8 225 argues that the process of racial change at these non-elite institutions was just as socially significant as developments at prominent universities , if not more so. Furthermore, coaches at smaller institutions were not protected by high public status or a liberal college atmosphere and were easy targets for harassment. Despite their exposed position, these relatively unknown coaches and their players “contributed as much to removing the barriers to equality in college athletics as did our counterparts with a higher profile” (p. 15). Born in Alabama, Elder spent most of his youth in small town Ohio. He played two years of college basketball in the Midwest before transferring to Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham, where he finished his playing career. His first coaching job took him in 1966 to the new Northeast State Junior College on Sand Mountain near Rainesville. Initially, Elder’s teams were composed of white players from the immediate area, but during his fourth year at the junior college the school president, Dr. E. R. Knox, unexpectedly urged him to recruit black players. Convincing African Americans to enroll at Northeast State proved difficult, given the region’s “unwritten rule that blacks had to be off the mountain by sundown” (p. 56). Of course, Sand Mountain was not the only “sundown” area in the South; in fact, James W. Loewen has recently identified hundreds of such communities in the Midwest in his book Sundown Towns (New York, 2005). Nonetheless, Sand Mountain’s racial history and insular culture made athletic integration there an especially daunting challenge. Elder eventually signed two players from Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis for the 1970–71 season. The following year, again at the request of the school president, he added five more African Americans to the team. Although the school’s white players and students accepted these black athletes, local die-hard segregationists were upset by this violation of the area’s racial traditions. During the 1971–72 season two black players were attacked outside a cafe, the coach began to carry a pistol after receiving harassing...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-9961
Print ISSN
0002-4341
Pages
pp. 224-226
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
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