Ohio History Journal


Book Reviews
Winter-Spring 2002
pp. 65-93
Copyright 2002 by the Ohio Historical Society. All rights reserved.
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BOOK REVIEWS


A Social Contract for the Coal Fields: The Rise and Fall of the United Mine Workers of America Welfare and Retirement Fund. By Richard P. Mulcahy. (Knoxville, Tenn.: The University of Tennessee Press, 2000. xiv + 274p.; notes, bibliography, index. $34.00.)

Now that the social contract hammered out between capitalists and workers in the 1930s and 1940s is in shambles, it seems, we can subject it to historical analysis. Richard Mulcahy looks at one part of that temporary accord in his history of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) Welfare and Retirement Fund, and he does a good job of it in terms of presentation. His writing is lucid and his narrative is well-organized.

Mulcahy presents the Welfare and Retirement Fund as part of a social contract between coal operators, the UMW, and rank-and-file miners. In exchange for being a disciplined and reliable labor force, he explains, miners received generous health care benefits and retirement pensions financed entirely by a per-ton royalty on coal. In return for providing a disciplined labor force to coal operators and not opposing mechanization, the union received effective control of the Fund. Mulcahy's narrative is exhaustive—almost overwhelming in the amount of detailed information it provides—but it is really the latter part of the social contract that gets most of his attention. The book is organized as a chronological survey of how the Fund fared under a succession of UMW presidents, from its establishment in 1946 to the termination of medical service in 1978.

Although not uncritical of John Lewis, Mulcahy portrays the popular union president as a skilled pragmatist who knew how to deliver the goods, including health and pension benefits, to the UMW membership. He is much more critical of Tony Boyle, and rightly so, for bringing the union to new levels of corruption and weakness between 1963 and 1972. Mulcahy's interpretation of Arnold Miller, however, seems unjustifiably harsh and at times borders on caricature. He presents the union president as both inexperienced and incompetent. Describing contract negotiations in 1978, for example, Mulcahy remarks on his "seeming inability to grasp the issues being discussed" (p. 179). This is hard to believe considering that Miller had worked as a deep miner for twenty-five years, led a successful campaign to get recognition of black lung as compensable, and played an important role in a union reform movement.

Mulcahy also claims that Miller, in addition to being incompetent as a union president, was resentful toward the Welfare and Retirement Fund. Drawing on interviews with several Fund staff members, he speculates that this resentment stemmed either from being rejected for a black lung award or from the fact that Miller had no hand in actually creating the Fund. Mulcahy might be correct in asserting that the union president did not give adequate attention to the Fund once in office, but Miller did express support for defending and expanding miners' health and pension benefits when he was campaigning in 1972. The Miners for Democracy platform defined welfare and retirement benefits as of primary importance, called for their increase, and suggested that eligibility rules be liberalized. Miller also supported expanded organizing, primarily at strip mines, because these nonunion operations produced millions of tons a year without


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paying any royalty to the Fund.

With the exception of a somewhat questionable portrayal of Arnold Miller, A Social Contract is a cogent interpretation of an important part of UMW history. Mulcahy provides a wealth of information while at the same time making a fairly convincing argument about oversight of the Welfare and Retirement Fund. Very likely, his book will be the standard text on the subject for some time.

Chad Montrie, Ohio State University

 

Rich in Good Works: Mary M. Emery of Cincinnati. By Millard F. Rogers, Jr. (Akron, Ohio: The University of Akron Press, 2001. xiii + 237p.; illustrations, appendixes, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95.)

With Rich in Good Works, Millard F. Rogers, Jr., the former director of the Cincinnati Art Museum (1974-1994), seeks to rescue from historical oblivion the life and good works of Mary Muhlenburg Emery (1844-1927), the woman who provided a building, an endowment, and a "world-class collection of old master paintings" (p. x) to the museum he directed and who established the planned community of Mariemont where Rogers lived. He tells the story of this "remarkable humanitarian and philanthropist" (p. ix) chronologically and uncritically.

Born in New York City to parents who had roots around Circleville, Ohio, Mary Muhlenburg Hopkins grew up in Brooklyn. In 1 862 her father, a dry goods merchant, relocated the family to Cincinnati to be closer to relatives. On May 24, 1866, Mary Hopkins was married to Thomas J. Emery (1830-1906), whose family profited handsomely from lard oil manufacturing, candle making, and real estate, and who, with his two brothers, became a major developer of apartment houses and office buildings in Cincinnati after 1870.

Thomas and Mary Emery had two sons, Sheldon, born in 1867, and Albert, born in 1868, but a sledding accident claimed Albert's life in 1884 and illness killed Sheldon in 1890. They soon gained a surrogate son, however, when one of Sheldon's Harvard classmates sent a condolence letter to the grieving mother and expressed the hope of making himself useful to the family. Thus did Charles J. Livingood (1866-1952) insinuate himself into the Emery family, first as an employee in the family business (1890-1906) and then, following Thomas Emery's death, as the "solicitous, caring presence who guided [Mary] in almost every endeavor she undertook" (p. 33).

As a philanthropist, Mary Emery "did not have any organized, systematic plan" for her giving; instead, she responded as appeals came to her. Rogers lists fifty-one institutions to which she made donations, and her favorite causes included "the Episcopal Church, medical programs for children, educational activities and those helping young people, and agencies headquartered in Cincinnati" (p. x). She approached philanthropy as she did art: "her emotional reaction to a particular work [of art or philanthropic request] usually was decisive" (p. 190). Livingood certainly was not an innovative philanthropic advisor on the order of a Robert W. DeForest or Frederick T. Gates, but his pet project—development of the planned community of Mariemont—receives only cursory treatment here and is to be the subject of another book by Rogers.

Clearly it is Mary Emery's art collection that drives the author's interest. The two


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chapters devoted to her art are among the most detailed and liveliest in the book, and an appendix provides a monthly chronology of her acquisition of fifty-four paintings. Her "collecting goal was to acquire works by major European masters" (p. 190), but she admittedly was not a connoisseur of art, relying on the advice of art dealers and experts such as Joseph Henry Gest, director of the Cincinnati Art Museum (from 1902-1929), who became her chief art advisor. Emery built her collection with the clear intent to donate it to Gest's museum upon her death.

Rogers is more interested in relating the facts of Mary Emery's life and good works than he is in explaining or understanding: he does not explore attitude or motive to any great extent, nor does he engage in speculation. He has diligently mined the archives of institutions in Cincinnati and elsewhere that benefited from her gifts, as well as local newspapers, and he has talked with relatives and discovered letters and other resources still in family hands. But, while he cites the work of Kathleen McCarthy, he is not familiar with other recent works on philanthropy that might have helped provide some critical perspective on his subject, such as Bernice Kert's biography of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller or Ruth Crocker's work on Margaret Olivia Sage, whose activities Mary Emery followed in the newspapers. In addition to problems of perspective, readers may also find the writing to be problematic. The chronological unfolding of the story leads to a certain repetition of detail as institutions and individuals appear, disappear, and reappear; and long quotations from correspondence often are presented with little context or explanation.

Despite these problems, Rogers has succeeded in rescuing Mary M. Emery from obscurity, but it remains for others to properly assess her place in history.

Kenneth W. Rose, Rockefeller Archive Center

 

American Monster: How the Nation's First Prehistoric Creature Became a Symbol of National Identity. By Paul Semonin (New York, N.Y.: New York University Press, 2000. 472p.; $28.95.)

Paul Semonin's American Monster is a fascinating review of how our understanding of the mastodon has changed—from the discovery in 1705 of the "tooth of a Giant" to the period following the Civil War when the discovery of dinosaurs eclipsed the mastodon as the most stupendous creatures of the antediluvian world. The book can be read as a satisfying account of the growth of our knowledge about the prehistoric beast Georges Cuvier called the "Ohio animal," but which was more widely known as the American incognitum. However, Semonin encourages readers to come to his book "not to find the factual truth of the mastodon story but, rather, to experience the cultural complexity of the symbols we use every day to define our relationship to the natural world and to other inhabitants on the planet" (p. xiv). This surprising (at least surprising to this reviewer) dismissal of the "factual truth of the mastodon story" in a work of academic history is explained, perhaps, by Semonin's postmodernist bias. Semonin refers to "a belief in literal truth" as a "dangerous illusion when it comes to understanding our use of knowledge and the motives for our actions" (p. xiii-xiv).

The subtitle of the book summarizes Semonin's principal thesis: the mastodon was not merely a denizen of a prehistoric age rediscovered by eighteenth century savants—it was an icon of American nationalism. The basis for this assertion


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appears to arise from Thomas Jefferson's use of the mastodon to refute Buffon's theory of American degeneracy. Buffon claimed that the cold and damp climate of the New World caused all animal and vegetable life in that hemisphere to be inferior in size and constitution to that of the Old World. Jefferson and other Americans found this theory insulting, but more to the point, they recognized that the notion was entirely without merit. The gigantic bones of the American mastodon, among other lines of evidence, proved that "ours" was every bit as big as "theirs"—if not bigger. Such were the subtleties of eighteenth century scientific debate.

Semonin seems to think that because Jefferson, Franklin, and other signers of the Declaration of Independence took an interest in the mastodon that it must have served as a powerful symbol of America for these patriots. However, Semonin is, at best, unclear as to exactly what the mastodon was supposed to symbolize for the founding fathers. Here is a partial list:

The mastodon was a symbol of "the superiority of the Europeans over the 'weaker species' of the human race" (p. 154);
"an emblem of the rebellion" (p. 161);
a symbol of "the new nation's own spirit of conquest" (p. 162);
"emblems of empire, symbolizing the extinguishing of the savagery of nature by the civilizing forces of Christianity and commerce" (p. 265);
"an emblem of the white man's dominion over nature" (p. 361);
"a symbol of overwhelming power in a psychologically insecure society" (p. 392).

It is likely that Semonin would respond to this charge of obscurity by noting (not without some justification) that symbols can be multivocal and their meaning can change over time. It is also possible that Semonin is overinterpreting his sources and attributing depths of symbolic meaning to them that simply aren't there. The latter suggestion is supported by instances in which he ignores or dismisses evidence that seems to undermine his essential argument. For example, Semonin recounts the case of John Morgan, a physician from Philadelphia who collected mastodon bones in a desultory manner but never got too excited about them. Semonin argues that this "lack of interest very likely stemmed from his weak national consciousness and limited sympathy for the patriot cause" (p. 164). I find this argument implausible, especially given the great interest in mastodons exhibited by Nicholas Cresswell, an English traveler to the Ohio country who had strong Tory sympathies (p. 168). If Morgan's disinterest in the bones was due to a lack of patriotism, by all rights Cresswell should have been burying these powerful symbols of American pride instead of digging them up. Moreover, Semonin notes that many otherwise patriotic Americans made significant sums of money by exporting mastodon bones to Europe. Since this practice is inconsistent with his notion that the bones were hallowed symbols of America, Semonin asserts that this distasteful (and sacrilegious?) business must have been transacted "surreptitiously" (p. 341). But he cites no evidence whatsoever that any of these sales were made covertly, nor that the practice was ever publicly condemned. Finally, if the mastodon's bones were sacred to Jefferson and Franklin, Federalists evidently did not hold them in such high esteem for they ridiculed Jefferson's obsession with them (p. 353).

Although the book succeeds as a rich history of the beginnings of American paleontology, it fails to demonstrate, at least to the satisfaction of this reviewer, that the mastodon ever served as an important symbol of national identity. If Semonin could point to a single example of the tusks of the mastodon appearing


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on a state seal or on United States currency he would have a more potent argument. It seems to me that the fascination with the mastodon for many Americans, and for many Europeans, Africans, and Asians as well, needs no explanation. (It is relevant to note that the Burning Tree mastodon, found in Licking County in 1989, was purchased in 1993 by the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History in Yokohama, Japan.) Curiosity about lost worlds and the strange mixture of delight and terror in monsters is sufficient to account for the wonder in the eyes of visitors who encounter mounted skeletons of the mastodon in museums such as the Ohio Historical Center.

In the final chapter of the book Semonin argues that our characterizations of nature powerfully influence our behavior. He attributes many of society's ills, including warfare ("a profoundly artificial enterprise, an unnatural act" [p. 409]), racism, and the deterioration of our environment to a "paradigm of dominance" fostered by Western science at least since Darwin employed the "brutal metaphor" of the "struggle for existence" (p. 396). Semonin asserts that Darwin's theory of natural selection could never have been conceived by a Hopi Indian or a Hindu. He believes that people from such cultures, "who still respect their ancestors" (p. 410), are somehow incapable of seeing conflict in nature. Semonin argues that we need a new metaphor—a metaphor of community and interdependence: "In other words, enjoy being part of nature, for a change, and look into the monster's jaws without fear" (p. 411). What is ironic is that he also attributes this saccharin view of nature to the Paleolithic cave painters: "a prehistoric people who . . . portrayed the Ice Age elephants with reverence, drawing them on the walls of their caves illuminated by oil lamps, leaving us poignant evidence that the paradigm can be changed" (p. 411). This idyllic meditation is rather spoiled by the very real possibility that the reason why mammoths and mastodons no longer roam the steppes and forests of the world is because those cave painters and their American cousins killed them all.

American Monster is worth reading for its useful summary of what eighteenth century Americans made of the mastodon. Semonin makes the important point that in the eighteenth century, "there was far less distinction made between the world of science and those of religion, political philosophy, and economic thought" (pp. 292-293). He obviously has immersed himself in the literature of the period and has recovered some marvelous anecdotes. For example, he summarizes an oration given by Dr. Samuel Latham Mitchell in 1795 celebrating the exploits of the Delaware Indian Chief Tammany. In Mitchell's account, which drew freely from Thomas Jefferson's discussion of the mastodon in his Notes on the State of Virginia, Tammany destroys "alarming droves of Mammoths" (i.e., mastodons) which were, in Mitchell's version of the story, "carnivorous animals, and especially loving to feed upon human flesh" (p. 294). Characteristically, Semonin goes on to say that the mythic Tammany became a "symbol of American nationalism" (p. 298). He does not, however, address the symbolic dissonance that must have resulted from one symbol of America killing another. (Can you imagine Uncle Sam being celebrated for killing an eagle?) Here is the book's fatal flaw in a nutshell: Semonin does not address the question of how you determine objectively when some person, place, or thing has become a widely recognized symbol of something else. But, by any reasonable criteria I can imagine, Semonin does not present a convincing case that the mastodon was ever an important symbol of American national identity.

Bradley T. Lepper, Ohio Historical Society


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Architects of Our Fortunes: The Journal of Eliza A. W Otis, 1860-1863, with Letters and Civil War Journal of Harrison Gray Otis. Edited by Ann Gorman Condon. (San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library, 2001. xli + 267p.; illustrations, bibliography. $39.95.)

Several years ago, while giving a lecture in the American history survey, I inadvertently referred to the tensions between antebellum North and South as the "sexual," rather than "sectional," conflict. Once the laughter died down, I corrected my slip and hurried on with as much dignity as I could muster. Today I might instead try to turn my mistake into a "teachable moment." I would point out that the Civil War did indeed have a sexual dimension: it represented, in the words of LeeAnn Whites, "a crisis in gender," not just a crisis in politics, economics, and military might.

Most recent scholarship on gender and the Civil War has emphasized how the departure of men for military service prompted women, especially white married women, to take on new familial responsibilities and to rethink their social roles, their self-conceptions, and even their political rights. Architects of Our Fortunes offers a useful "test case" of this developing interpretation. This lightly edited, highly readable compilation of private writings by Eliza A.W. (Lizzie) Otis and Harrison Gray (Harry) Otis traces their experiences from the early months of their marriage through the first two-and-a-half years of the Civil War. Although they would later go on to fame and fortune as publishers of the Los Angeles Times, during the period covered by these documents they were ordinary northerners of humble-to-middling status. If anything seems remarkable about them and their experiences, it is how little the trials and turmoil of war undermined their basic moral values and their marital relationship.

The core of Architects of Our Fortunes is a journal that Lizzie kept irregularly from January 1860 through September 1863. A transplanted New Englander, Lizzie was twenty-six years old when she began the journal and resided in Louisville, Kentucky, where Harry, four years her junior, was employed in a local print shop. The couple had first met three years before, while he attended her father's academy in Lowell, Ohio, and they had married in September 1859. Early journal entries suggest that, as a newlywed with few prescribed social duties, Lizzie questioned her life's purpose. "I'm a sort of good-for-nothing piece of humanity," she wrote on one occasion. "I wonder how Harry ever happened to pick me for a 'helpmeet.' I'm a helpeat and that's all, and not a bit heavier is his purse for my sharing it with him" (p. 42). Yet from the start Lizzie's devotion to Harry was unqualified, and so was her opposition to slavery. "I often indulge in speculative questionings as to the future of our country," she recorded. "Shall Freedom triumph, or the proud mermidons of slavery sit in the high places of power?" (p. 90).

By-the time the Civil War broke out, Lizzie had returned to Lowell and given birth to a son. A fervent Republican, Harry enlisted in the Ohio Volunteers, and over the next two years he rose from private to first lieutenant. In his absence, Lizzie was left to deal on her own with raising their infant son and then coping with his early death. She endured severe mood swings, but her faith in God, husband, and the Union never wavered. In the spring of 1863, at Harry's urging, she moved near where he was stationed in West Virginia. Her spirits lifted, and that June she and Harry were able even to live together for three weeks. Although she recoiled in horror when Harry suggested he might pursue a career in the military, she fully shared his wartime patriotism. "All honor to my soldier Husband!" she


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wrote in her journal. "Our bleeding Country has not a truer son. Liberty will never die with such defenders. The blessing of the Most High be poured upon his Beloved head" (p. 153).

For Lizzie Otis, the Civil War proved less a crisis in gender than a solution to her search for identity and meaning in life. In supporting her husband's patriotic service, she located her own sense of social purpose. Instead of openly challenging the gender conventions of her era, she found comfort in her role as "helpmeet" at a time of national emergency. We can thank Ann Gorman Condon and the Huntington Library for letting Lizzie Otis tell us her story in her own words, unencumbered by theoretical exegesis.

Gary J. Kornblith, Oberlin College

 

Fishing the Great Lakes: An Environmental History, 1783-1933. By Margaret Beattie Bogue. (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 2000. xix + 444p.; illustrations, tables, notes, glossary of fish species, bibliography, index. $65.00 cloth; $27.95 paper.)

Even though the Great Lakes are the largest body of freshwater in the world, there has been a surprising dearth of historical research into the relationship between the ecology of these vast lakes and the human communities along their shores. In Fishing the Great Lakes, Margaret Beattie Bogue tackles a particularly important dimension of this subject: the shifts in fish populations and fishing practices on the Great Lakes over the past century and a half. The result is a work that offers a sweeping, often fascinating, and ultimately troubling portrait of the Great Lakes fisheries.

Bogue begins her story in the seventeenth century with an overview of Indian fishing practices. The bulk of her account, however, is devoted to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a time when rapid European settlement wrought dramatic alterations in the Great Lakes fisheries. She divides her discussion of this era into three narrative strands; layered on top of one another, they collectively capture the multifaceted changes taking place in the Great Lakes. The first strand focuses on fishing itself: the various technologies employed, the ethnic composition of fishing communities, and the fish dealers who early on dominated the industry. The second strand traces the changes along the shores of the Great Lakes—principally deforestation and the rise of urban centers that dumped municipal and industrial wastes into local waterways—and the devastating effect of these developments on the Great Lakes' ecology. Bogue's final narrative strand concerns the efforts by conservationists to address the decreasing quality and quantity of fish in the Great Lakes—a problem that policy makers recognized early on, but which they failed to solve for more than half a century.

It is this third strand that furnishes the paradox that lies at the heart of Fishing the Great Lakes: Why did the destruction of the Great Lakes' valuable fish stocks take place at the turn of the century, given that neither fishermen nor conservationists desired such an outcome? For those acquainted with the history of fisheries elsewhere, much of Bogue's answer to this puzzle will prove familiar, although she provides some surprises along the way. As a wild resource, becoming property only when caught, fish frequently invite overharvesting, a factor exacerbated in the case of the Great Lakes by the rise of what Bogue characterizes


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as a particularly "wasteful, exploitative, profit-oriented, and market-driven [fishing] industry" (p. 239). Moreover, in the Great Lakes as elsewhere, conservationists were never able to curb the entrenched interests behind the deforestation and the urban and industrial pollution that damaged so many marine environments.

In addition to these rather well-known factors, Bogue illuminates a number of features unique to the Great Lake fisheries. One of these is the tension between different groups of fishermen, especially gill netters and pound netters, which made it difficult for the region's fishermen to reach a consensus on regulations or to self-regulate as sometimes occurred in fisheries elsewhere. Bogue's most significant achievement, however, is her insightful comparison of Canadian and U.S. practices on the Great Lakes. Despite the two countries' common British heritage, each adopted strikingly different policies towards the Great Lakes fisheries. While the U.S. left the lakes an open-access commons, lightly overseen by a patchwork of different states, Canada early on adopted what in Bogue's analysis emerges as a far more sensible program of closed seasons and limited fishing licenses, administered on a national level. But since fish do not respect political boundaries, the Canadian system alone was not enough to protect the Great Lakes fisheries—a problem compounded by American subterfuges such as poaching in Canadian waters.

Bogue ends Fishing the Great Lakes in the 1930s with the arrival of the sea lamprey, an aggressive parasite that spread into the Great Lakes via new linkages between the lakes and the Atlantic and which pushed many of the already vulnerable Great Lakes fish populations into final collapse. While this event underscores the reoccurring and often unexpected role that nature plays in shaping events in the Great Lakes region, one cannot help wondering how Bogue's story plays itself out in the period after 1930. How did fishermen respond to the arrival of the lamprey? What forms of fishing remained possible after 1930? What did displaced fishermen do? Already, one hopes for a sequel to this fine study that will take up these and other important questions.

Karl Jacoby, Brown University

 

College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy. By John Sayle Watterson. (Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. xiv + 456p.; illustrations, appendixes, notes, bibliographical essay, index. $34.95.)

John Watterson has written an extensive examination of the development of college football in American history. Watterson has focused not just on the sport but how it fits in the larger context of American life. By reading his text the reader learns about more than just the study of sport.

Watterson explains in his preface what motivated him to write this book as he talks about the changes in college football over time. When his own father played at Western Reserve University everyone came out to see the team play, and now the big crowds only come out for the biggest college football teams. If it is not a big rivalry then no one seems interested anymore. Watterson sets out to find out why that is true and when things changed. When did college football become so commercialized and scandal ridden?

What was once a sport has now become big business. Teams create their


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schedules based on gate receipts, television coverage and raising their ratings in the standings for bowl game invites. The players are no longer there just to play the game but to earn the chance at a professional contract and the lucrative salary that comes along with it. The sport has changed since the nineteenth century into a spectacle today that rivals all other forms of entertainment. The steps from there to here are long and tortuous, with scandals and reforms dominating the headlines along the way.

The problems of today are not new but have grown in size as the game has changed. There have always been problems with injuries, with balancing academics and athletics, with coaches, with alumni getting too involved, and with allocation of resources. In addition Watterson points out that a number of the changes in the game are a reflection of the larger society, race and gender relations in particular. He admits that his text is not meant to deal exclusively with these topics but recognizes their importance to the story he attempts to chronicle.

Watterson's story begins with the origins of college football and its earliest rivalries at the Ivy League schools. It began as a sport when there were few professional athletes to garner all the attention. Fans focused instead on the exploits of their local boys, on the sandlots and gridirons of the parks and schools in their region. The support of college faculty helped the sport gain in popularity but also introduced some of the early and continuing problems in balancing athletics and academics.

Watterson then traces college football from the hallowed Ivy League fields through its many ups and downs during the nineteenth century to its greatest challenge in 1905. President Theodore Roosevelt played a key role in determining the future of the game when he became concerned over the brutality and lack of sportsmanship he saw. He pushed for and encouraged changes to the game to restore it to a game of glory. By the end of 1905 a decision had been reached to reform and not abolish the game. From there Watterson chronicles the efforts undertaken to try to reform the game in the face of growing concerns and interest. By the 1910s college football entered its modern era and World War I pushed it to the next level.

College football enjoyed growth and popularity through the mid-1940s before beginning to decline. The advent of television brought major changes in people's leisure habits and the economic boom of the Second World War did not last unabated. Small colleges seemed the least affected in the beginning because television had not yet reached them in large numbers. By the end of the 1950s, Watterson explains, schools had heavy decisions to make as the economy changed. Colleges and universities made the decision to either downsize their teams or increase the emphasis regardless of the cost to other programs. With the growth of professional football in the decades after World War II college football seemed to have little choice but to become more organized and relentless in its pursuit of big money.

Watterson concludes his text by answering the questions he began with. He states that some of the problems associated with college football are chronic and reforms have failed to address these problems because schools have come to stake their reputations on the success of their football squads. Watterson places some of the failure squarely on the backs of the faculty who have become less and less involved as time has passed. Faculties have become more focused on their own careers and less interested in their students. In fact, Watterson compares the structure of the university today to a football team. He ends offering proposed


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solutions to the problems in college football today. It needs to get away from the commercialization, players should be paid, college presidents need to be more involved to prevent scandals, and academic standards need to be raised. If no one steps in, the problems will just continue to grow, according to Watterson.

Watterson brings forth both the glory and the tragedy of college football. He highlights the greats of the game but does not shy away from the scandals and tragedies. His is not the last word but just an opening foray as he gives the reader an extensive set of notes to follow his research. He concludes with a bibliographic essay to show the reader where this text fits in the literature and what he thinks still needs to be done.

Leslie Heaphy, Kent State University, Stark Campus

 

Tom Taylor's Civil War. By Albert Castel. (Lawrence, Kans.: University Press of Kansas, 2000. xv + 256p.; illustrations, maps, notes, index. $29.95.)

Ohioans are likely to take a special interest in this book. It centers on a New Jersey-born Buckeye and his wife who at the start of the Civil War lived in Georgetown on the Ohio River. Thomas Thompson Taylor served in the 12th and 47th Ohio infantry regiments, and his diary and letters are preserved in the Ohio Historical Society Archives. Instead of editing them, Albert Castel has used them as the principal basis for a biography which includes extensive quotations from the collection's most readable and historically important documents. Happily the author has the experience needed to develop this relatively low-ranking officer within the war's larger context.

Without excessive speculation, Castel describes Tom Taylor as an ambitious young man seeking to rise above his father's failures and win his way in the world. The Civil War offered opportunity for advancement through patriotism, and thus he maneuvered around his wife's persistent calls on him to return to her and their children. An unusual aspect of this book is that enough of both sides of the couple's correspondence was preserved to permit a dialogue. Husband and wife were sufficiently educated to write well and to reveal the strain which the war placed on their marriage as well as their continued, and indeed passionate, affection.

While Taylor's regiments' early service was in relatively minor operations in western Virginia, the lawyer-turned-officer was getting valuable experience in the regimental politics typical of the period which enabled him to obtain a major's commission just before the 47th Ohio was sent to serve in the Army of the Tennessee under William T. Sherman at Vicksburg. Beginning with Sherman's part in the battle of Chattanooga, Taylor gives excellent descriptions of major actions. He continues in his accounts of the campaign against Atlanta written from the viewpoint of an officer in charge of skirmishers. Especially striking is the depiction of how four Ohio regiments held the Federal right at Ezra Church. (Many historians would not fully share Castel's negative evaluation of Sherman's leadership which culminates in blaming him for failing to destroy John Bell Hood's army during its evacuation of Atlanta.)

While Taylor had played a leading part in persuading the men of his regiment to re-enlist early in 1864, he had not done so himself and considered resigning at the end of his original three-year term, only to find that officers like him who had gone home on their regiment's veteran furlough could not then resign. Kept in service,


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he bitterly complained "I am an American Slave of Anglo-Saxon descent.

Abraham Lincoln is my master . . . ." (p. 169). Perforce he marched with Sherman to the Sea, being shocked by the practical results of the execution of his earlier calls for a harsher policy toward Southern civilians. In the 47th Ohio's assault on Fort McAllister near Savannah, he received his first significant wound, losing a finger. Hence he was assigned to a general court martial in Washington where he was able to attend and describe favorably "master" Lincoln's second inauguration. He also ended the war by becoming a Republican and receiving the brevet rank of brigadier general.

Despite seeming victory in his battle for success, Taylor's postwar career did not equal his Civil War achievement. Practicing law, he lived in Ohio, Missouri, and Kansas (where he served in the legislature). He spent his last years in Louisiana, reconciling there with the southern branch of his family. Castel suggests that Taylor, like many Civil Warriors, indicated what had been his life's high point by choosing Arlington Cemetery as the grave site for him and the wife of his youth.

This volume should appeal to students of nineteenth-century marriage and the Civil War and to anyone who wants a fascinating book.

Frank L. Byrne, Kent State University

 

Difficult Reputations: Collective Memories of the Evil, Inept, and Controversial. By Gary Alan Fine. (Chicago, Ill.: The University of Chicago Press, 2001. xi + 267p.; index. $55.00 cloth, $19.00 paper.)

Sociologist Gary Alan Fine, in Difficult Reputations, examines the historical memory of a group of people he describes as "evil, inept, and controversial." Included in his hall of shame are Benedict Arnold, Warren Harding, John Brown, Fatty Arbuckle, Henry Ford, Vladimir Nabokov, Herman Melville, and Sinclair Lewis. Although I am sure that partisans of each of these men would dispute their inclusion in this list, Fine offers a good chapter on each with a sophisticated understanding of how and why their reputations developed. Each person's reputation reflects the importance of context, audience, and the role of reputational entrepreneurs in the contest for control of the reputation.

Fine begins with a nice discussion of the sociological theories of how reputations are formed. Fine gives a great deal of credit to Barry Schwartz as a colleague and an inspiration. Whereas Schwartz's research has been on great historical figures, most notably George Washington, Fine looks at those who have fallen from grace. Rather than exploring the importance of Washington, he examines Benedict Arnold, the "Bizarro Washington." Fine's discussion of social theory is too complicated to go into in this short review, but it is well worth reading. He summarizes his position in contrast to that of Schwartz who, following Geertz, argues that "history serves as both a mirror (reflecting society to itself) and as a lamp (illuminating how society should see itself). I [Fine] go further as an interactionist and a social psychologist. Reputations are matters of contention—they are in play. I argue that the interests of reputational entrepreneurs and the outcomes of their battles over reputation are significant" (p. x).

Thus Fine takes each historical figure and focuses on an aspect of his reputation. With Benedict Arnold he deals with the commemoration of treason, Warren Harding with incompetence, John Brown with political violence, and so on. Each


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person's reputation, as Fine recognizes but does not fully explore, is more complex than this. For example, the same social tensions that were at play in the public debate over morality in Hollywood and Fatty Arbuckle's behavior were also factors in the debate over Warren G. Harding's character following his death.

Fine can be criticized for including only dead white men in his collection. (One wonders if there are not some inept, evil, or controversial women or people of color.) Having one chapter per person limits how far Fine can take his conclusions. A good deal of his research was done in secondary sources or in readily available commentary from the period. I am sure that scholars of each of the men he studies could, and probably will, qualify his findings. For example, Fine argues that it would be possible to write alternative biographies of Warren G. Harding. He is basically correct, but the existing historical record cannot support all of his suggested alternate biographies. Fine correctly points to the old claim that Harding had mixed racial ancestry—that is Harding was a black man passing for white. In 1920 this was an attack meant to destroy Harding. With the changing of time, Harding as our first black president could be considered a positive rather than a negative. However, the evidence that Harding was a black man, or a mulatto, is thin at best and based on racial stereotypes.

Despite the limitations, Difficult Reputations is an excellent contribution to the literature and should be read by those interested in either the individuals examined or by scholars interested in public memory.

Phillip G. Payne, St. Bonaventure University

 

The Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 16, 1869-July 1875. Edited by Paul Bergeron. (Knoxville, Tenn. : University of Tennessee Press, 2000. xxxii + 8O4p.; illustrations, appendixes, index. $60.00.)

After forty-four years of work, The Papers of Andrew Johnson conclude with this, the sixteenth volume of the series. This closing volume tackles the immense challenge of Johnson's final six years. In doing so, Paul Bergeron and his staff of editors have provided the raw material necessary for a more complete understanding of one of the more interesting figures in American political history.

Following the interpretive framework of Hans Trefousse's Andrew Johnson: A Biography (1989), which views Johnson's post-presidential career as a search for vindication, this volume of The Papers reflects three distinct periods within the six-year time frame: Johnson's return to Tennessee in 1869 and his unsuccessful efforts to become a U. S. Senator, the quest to become a Congressman-at-large that lasted until 1872, and Johnson's triumphant campaign for the U.S. Senate that returned him to Washington in 1875. The volume closes with Johnson's death in July, 1875.

The public nature of Johnson's quest for vindication makes this volume very different from its immediate predecessors. Earlier volumes contained relatively few private letters from Johnson. While that remains true here, there are more here than in previous volumes, which gives the reader a bit more insight into Johnson himself. Still, those personal insights are few and far between, for Johnson was, as Bergeron points out, "almost totally absorbed with politics" (xxi). Cutting the political content in the quest for the personal would have resulted in a slim volume of limited substance, so the editors let the paper trail lead to its natural conclusion. In doing so, they did a wonderful job tracking down materials from a variety of


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repositories and sources, and then linking them together. Among the most interesting are a number of interviews Johnson gave to Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Cincinnati, New York, and Washington newspapers. Here, as well as anywhere, one sees Andrew Johnson the political scrapper, fighting to salvage his reputation and prove his enemies wrong. Compared to Johnson's official correspondence, these interviews are often quite revealing and therefore very useful to the historian.

To their credit, the editors did not reprint every utterance and scrap of correspondence generated by Johnson during these six years. Johnson spent significant stretches campaigning for public office, often against tremendous odds. This was, after all, a man who had managed to offend several groups of prominent Tennesseeans over the years, including both Radical Republicans and former Confederates firmly ensconced in the Democratic party. Despite the odds, Johnson was driven to hold public office again, preferably in a contest where he triumphed in a statewide referendum. To make that happen, he gave numerous speeches over the years, both when officially campaigning and when not. Many of those public orations have survived but relatively few appear in this volume. Instead, the editors have chosen representative examples, a wise choice given Johnson's natural tendency to drive home the same points time and time again. Whether dealing with correspondence, interviews, or speeches, this volume really shines in terms of editorial handling. Each document has been methodically annotated, with additional explanation where necessary for clarity. The result is a thoroughly readable collection and very important tool that serves the serious scholar immersed in Johnson's life and the researcher quickly browsing for a specific piece of information equally well.

This volume brings The Papers of Andrew Johnson to a fitting close, maintaining the high standards that have characterized the entire series. It also reminds us that despite popular perception, Andrew Johnson's life not only continued after impeachment, but did so with the vigor and purpose that characterized his entire political career.

Kurt Hackemer, University of South Dakota

 

Educational Architecture in Ohio-From One-Room Schools and Carnegie Libraries to Community Education Villages. By Virginia E. McCormick. (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2001. xii + 3l8p.; illustrations, notes, bibliography, appendixes, index. $45.00.)

As an outgrowth of a project conducted by the Ohio Preservation Office "to provide educational context for individuals and groups interested in nominating an educational property for the National Register of Historic Places," this work focuses on the architecture of various Ohio school buildings, libraries, and cultural sites (p. ix). Virginia McCormick, a retired home economics professor from The Ohio State University, begins her study with a discussion of academies, seminaries, and institutes, and works her way chronologically through the development of one-room, graded, and secondary schools, and colleges and universities. She devotes separate chapters to schools designed for special needs, students and libraries, especially the numerous Ohio Carnegie libraries, as well as museums, opera houses, and conservatories. Her intent, to show that the


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architecture of the state's educational buildings clearly reflected educational progress in Ohio, results in a carefully documented work. The wealth of photographs in the book will be of particular interest to architectural and educational historians, as well as the general Ohio public, most likely to be familiar with many of the buildings described. Perhaps more importantly, McCormick also aims her work at those educators and community leaders who make decisions about "the preservation and utilization of historic educational structures" emphasizing the importance of architectural interpretation and preservation in revealing cultural values (p. 6).

Each chapter provides numerous examples of the interplay between architecture and educational and societal values. For instance, McCormick notes that the Greek Revival architecture of academies in the early nineteenth century "reinforced the concept that these institutions offered a classical curriculum and embraced the ideals of Athenian democracy—such as purity, wisdom, and independence" (p. 16). As private academies gave way to the one-room, common school, early economic disparities between rural schools, usually built of wood by local residents, and urban schools, where builders were more likely to use brick, became obvious. As efforts to improve rural education led to consolidation and the growth of union or graded schools in both rural and urban areas, these schools often became, as McCormick argues, "the finest structures in the community-symbols of their cultural pride" (p. 54). By the Progressive Era, high schools had assumed this prominent position in the community as local boosters strove to provide a modern technological and artistic environment that would create "the educated citizenry required for democratic government" (p. 94), and reflect their civic pride. McCormick's numerous photos of these secondary school buildings show clearly the ornate architecture and massive structures that resulted from this mission. As Ohio's colleges and universities developed, both architecture and form varied widely, not surprising given that builders and school supporters responded to a variety of influences. Some looked to New England for models, while others patterned school buildings after well-known public structures such as the Smithsonian. McCormick's discussion of libraries and opera houses serves to expand the accepted definition of educational institutions to include these symbols of life-long learning. Clearly, communities saw these structures as crucial in their effort to create an educated population.

Although McCormick provides careful architectural descriptions of Ohio's educational institutions, her study serves to complement the broader, analytical works of well-known educational historians such as Wayne Fuller, Carl Kaestle, William Reese, and James Anderson. McCormick relies heavily on the literature of both educational and architectural historians, yet weaves into her discussion only quick references to larger societal changes that influenced school architecture. Readers will need to look elsewhere for an in-depth evaluation of these broader contextual changes and their impact on education. But if her study raises more questions than it answers in some places, she succeeds in showing that the architectural design of a building can indeed reveal the cultural values of a community or, in this case, of a state. In addition, the book includes a useful timeline of selected educational highlights in Ohio, names of the architects of the buildings cited in the work, and a listing of Ohio educational sites on the National Register of Historic Places.

Janice M. Leone, Middle Tennessee State University


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Consumers in the Country: Technology and Social Change in Rural America. By Ronald R. Kline. (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. xii + 372p.; illustrations, appendix, list of abbreviations, notes, bibliographical and methodological note, index. $41.95.)

Around the turn of the nineteenth century, many middle-class Americans became concerned about the growing gap in standard of living between town and country. They feared that as rural households lost ground relative to urban ones, the social and cultural gulf would widen and political strife would worsen. Families who remained on the farm would sink into a degraded state of being, no longer recognizable as Thomas Jefferson's "moral backbone" of the nation. Moreover, these unfortunate families could hardly provide the "hardy stock" that eugenicists thought necessary to protect the nation's genetic purity from dilution by waves of immigration. Aspiring reformers worried that the problem of rural degradation was compounded by the tendency of more intelligent and industrious families to migrate to cities in search of better lives. In the end, both fewer farms and inefficient farmers would translate into a decreased food supply and higher prices for urban consumers. A wide array of private and public organizations seeking to remedy this complex set of problems seized upon what, in an age of rapid industrial growth, seemed the most obvious solution: the introduction of new technologies into rural households that could make farming more efficient and country life more attractive, while also opening up new markets for consumer goods.

Professor Kline has taken this somewhat familiar story and examined it from a fresh perspective. His study is primarily concerned with four technologies—the telephone, automobile, radio, and electricity—and the ways in which their introduction into rural life was an interactive process. He successfully challenges "technological determinism," illustrated by reformers' faith in technology as an autonomous and positive force of change, by revealing the agency of rural people. Farm families resisted and adapted technologies to suit themselves, forcing accommodation on the part of reformers, merchants, businesses, and manufacturers. The practice of eavesdropping on telephone "party lines," which became a common part of rural culture, drove the invention of new technologies to prevent the practice, or, alternately, to facilitate it on rural systems. After farmers began adapting cars for field use, Ford Motor Company started to develop smaller and more affordable tractors and flexible-use light trucks. Rural people sometimes frustrated reformers by rejecting consumerism that went against traditional values of saving and "making do." Farm households with electricity resisted purchasing new electric appliances until their older equipment was worn out. Even then they sometimes used new appliances as they had the old, turning off the refrigerator during winter months and using the electric range only in the summer when the heat from a wood or coal stove was not desired.

Kline's study complements the findings of other scholars who have shown how rural men and women used technologies in ways that reinforced, rather than subverted, established gender and work roles. Farm men were in charge of repairing and maintaining the automobile, and when it was converted for use as a stationary power source (by raising the rear end and attaching a belt to one wheel), it most often was used for "men's work." Farm women, on the other hand, did not use new technology in the home to become the housewives envisioned by reformers. Instead of using time saved on domestic duties for leisure or self


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improvement, they used machines to get more work done in the same amount of time, including more field work.

This well-written and informative book makes important contributions to the social history of technology, going beyond simplistic concepts of modernization to show the contested and dynamic nature of change. The chapter on the creation of the Rural Electrification Administration portrays the process at the institutional level, in struggles between private and public, and local and Federal interests. The account of business opposition to government involvement in utility services has a particular resonance in our current climate of deregulation, privatization, and attendant problems.

Rebecca S. Montgomery, Georgia State University

 

Divided We Stand: American Workers and the Struggle for Black Equality. By Bruce Nelson. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001. xliv + 388 p.; notes, index. $39.50 cloth, $18.95 paper.)

In this excellent and important book, Bruce Nelson rebuts the leftist notion that capitalists and employers bear sole responsibility for the continuation of American racism since they used the race card to drive a wedge between white and black workers. Although Nelson does not dispute that employers very often manipulated issues of race and exacerbated racial tensions for their own ends, he insists that white workers did the same and bear partial responsibility for what he calls "racism's enduring grip on the United States" (p. xxxix).

Nelson builds on two important trends within labor history. The first denies that workers were simply powerless victims of capitalism and emphasizes the agency of workers, at least within the limits imposed by industrial capitalism. The second is the interest in the construction of "whiteness" which was spawned by David Roediger's The Wages of Whiteness (London: Verso, 1991). Nelson combines these two trends to produce this path breaking and provocative work.

Central to Nelson's analysis is the striving of European immigrants to find acceptance within nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century America. Upon arrival these immigrants, especially those from Ireland and eastern and southern Europe, faced prejudice, hostility, and limited opportunities. Most native-born, middle class Americans of Anglo-Saxon or German descent did not consider these new arrivals to be "white." Rather they saw the Irish, Italians, Poles, and other immigrants as occupying a middle ground on a racial spectrum with northern Europeans at the top and African Americans at the bottom. Nelson pays particular attention to the Irish who, as the first major non-Anglo-Saxon or Germanic immigrant group, faced a particularly hard time. Nineteenth century newspapers and commentators often portrayed the Irish using the same symbols and stereotypes usually reserved for African Americans. Nelson argues that in their effort to differentiate themselves from African Americans and gain acceptance in white, mainstream America, the Irish relied on racism and bigotry directed at African Americans. In the words of Nelson, the Irish seized "the mantle of whiteness as their own and defin[ed] themselves over against the blackness of the free Negro as well as the slave" (p. xxxviii). Not only did this tactic work as the Irish slowly won inclusion into the "white" race, but it also pointed the way for other immigrant groups striving for upward mobility in a new land.


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After a lengthy introduction in which he spells out his argument, Nelson divides the rest of the book into two case studies to examine in detail how his thesis plays out over time as successive generations of immigrants arrived and pressed for inclusion in mainstream America. The first focuses on longshoremen in New York, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. The second part, which is more likely to be relevant to those interested in Ohio history, examines steelworkers with a particular emphasis on the Youngstown mills. Nelson concludes that, despite some signs of interracial solidarity (e.g. the emergence of a cadre of white and black activists in the 1960s dedicated to fighting racism on the shop floor), the methods employed by the Irish continued to plague American industry well into the late 1970s as white workers used their power on the shop floor to block African American attempts to gain access to higher-paid, skilled jobs.

The book's only flaw is Nelson's choice of dockworkers and steelworkers for his case studies. As he says in the introduction, his focus on these groups was "accidental" rather than based on some scholarly criteria. The problem is that these industries are too similar in one important way—they both began to decline in the 1950s, if not before. I would like to know to what extent are the racial problems he sees persisting on the shop floor exacerbated by deteriorating economic conditions. Would an analysis of workers in an expanding industry or the service sector have yielded the same lamentable results? In other words, is there cause to hope of improving black-white relations?

Divided We Stand is an important contribution not only to the history of Ohio labor and race relations but also to the scholarship of modern America. Nelson's argument is important, provocative, and well-reasoned. The book deserves to be widely read.

Michael Pierce, University of Arkansas

 

Longaberger: An American Success Story. By Dave Longaberger. (New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001). xxii + 234p.; illustrations, appendix, index. $25.00

For Ohioans unfamiliar with the story of Longaberger baskets, this memoir would be a good place to start; readers of The Longaberger Story And How We Did It (1994, 1988), however, will learn very little new, for much of the information is repeated, albeit with the more personal slant of founder Dave Longaberger. The memoir chronicles the key points in the growth of a small, family-owned, specialty-manufacturing firm. As with most memoirs, this one does not include much historical context—there is no sense of where the basket manufacturer fit into the larger American economy or how it compared to other small businesses. Aside from the eighteen management principles (which repeat information from the earlier book), there is little analysis of how and why the firm grew to be a 700million-dollar business.

Several themes run throughout the book (selling the product, the importance of women in the firm's growth, craft manufacturing, marketing innovations), but the author never really ties them together. Longaberger was selling baskets, but he did so through selling his family's story (and this book is clearly part of that strategy); most decisions Longaberger made hinged on how they would affect sales. At key points in the firm's history, a woman or group of women stepped forward with


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hard work or an insightful idea that ensured the continuation of the firm; in fact, a woman came up with the central marketing strategy and the content of that strategy (sell the story) that has enabled the business to grow. Longaberger, alas, does not pause to consider these connections in any systematic way. Indeed, his two daughters eventually took over the family business (including a foundation), but Longaberger does not furnish enough information on them to explain how they helped the firm survive tough times, how they made it grow, and how they see the future of the firm. It may be that he did not understand himself the contributions of his daughters and other women, although he does acknowledge occasionally the gender theme. Future historians of the business will need to delve more deeply into the daughters' characters and abilities to explain how they continued the firm's successful trajectory. Similarly, more detail and analysis on the basics-how a craft manufacturing business operated on the factory floor (Longaberger himself did not perform the craft work), how its marketing approach (baskets can be bought only from sales consultants at house-gatherings) was developed, and how the "family" atmosphere was sustained as the business grew—would have added to the effectiveness of the story.

Nonetheless, there is much to be gained from reading the book. Aspiring entrepreneurs could learn whether they indeed have the stomach to take on a small business enterprise; business historians will get a glimpse into how a founder-run business is transforming into a large corporation; and Ohioans interested in the history of their state will learn how one of the most interesting firms in Central Ohio came about. This book and the preceding one furnish a start for the future professional historian who studies this fascinating story of a successful Ohio business.

William R. Childs, Ohio State University

 

The Sixty Years' War for the Great Lakes, 1754-1814. Edited by David Curtis Skaggs and Larry L. Nelson. (East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State University Press, 2001. xxvii + 4l4p.; illustrations, maps, notes, index. $49.95.)

This edited volume containing twenty engaging essays emanated from a September 1998 conference at Bowling Green State University attended by scholars from the United States, Canada, and Europe. This gathering examined a variety of issues involved in the extensive clashes for control of the critical Great Lakes region from the commencement of the (Seven Years') French and Indian War through 1814, which was the conclusion of the War of 1812. Professors Skaggs and Nelson afterwards selected what they deemed the best conference presentations. They emphasize that these works go beyond traditional military topics to include "immediate and long-term political, ideological, economic, cultural, and material consequences for the region and the two nations that emerged from the struggle" (p. xviii). The writings also contain coverage of the disparate roles played by Native American inhabitants of the area. The essays are preceded by an introduction where Professor Skaggs provides a thoughtful overview of this period. They conclude with Andrew Clayton's treatise discussing ramifications of these hostilities which allegedly were "among the most decisive in the history of North America," and which gave to the United States "a border that hugged the northern rather than the southern shores of the Great Lakes" (p. 374).


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The editors have made perceptive choices in their inclusions, but space limitations oblige this reviewer to concentrate on those judged most notable. The treatise, "French Imperial Policy in the Great Lakes Basin," by the late eminent Canadian historian William Eccles, analyzes the century-long hostilities between France and Britain (1663-1763) for domination of Continental North America. He finds in the ultimate British victory the triumph of an "uncompassionate," unethical, and self-serving system over Frances's more tolerant, moral, humanitarian and less avaricious order. In a somewhat related work, Matthew Ward admits that the region's Native Americans did experience serious epidemics of diseases such as smallpox during the French and Indian War, but he denies allegations that the British were guilty of "germ warfare." Rather, Ward lays the causes of such disastrous contagions to factors including trade policies, Britain's increased military presence, Indian physiological susceptibilities, and mishandling of refugee problems. Elizabeth Perkins's composition uses an array of primary and secondary sources to illustrate how British conceptions of power and liberty were altered within the Old Northwest during the American Revolutionary and Early National periods. She determines that unlike Britain's conception of power descending downward from the top of the social structure, revolutionary America stressed conceptions of popular will and egalitarianism which in turn provided for a more freewheeling and exploitative settlement of the Ohio Valley.

Robert Cox describes the achievements of the less-publicized Quaker missionaries in humanitarian and utilitarian labors among the Senecas, which commenced during the 1790s. Cox notes that these evangelists contrasted with other Protestant missionaries because the Quakers were not intent on proselytizing their charges, but rather sought to assist these tribes in developing productive and utilitarian agrarian settlements. R. Douglas Hurt's contribution assesses the varying fortunes of land speculators in the post-Revolutionary development of the Firelands area of northcentral Ohio. He concludes that although vacillating Federal land policies and divisive external events made speculation a chancy endeavor, shrewd, well-connected operators attained significant profits from their ventures. Finally, E. Jane Errington's provocative essay challenges assumptions that residents of Upper Canada flocked to join British forces from the onset of the War of 1812. Instead, she argues that by the commencement of hostilities, "Upper Canada was demographically, at least, an American colony," and that its inhabitants actually became "reluctant warriors" during the hostilities. (pp. 327, 330).

The editors who assembled these essays have provided scholars with numerous rewarding insights into the complex issues, events, and important individuals involved in this sometimes neglected or misunderstood aspect of America's past. The volume includes many useful maps and illustrations complementing several of the chosen essays. Particularly noteworthy are charts and diagrams in Brian Dunnigan's description of Detroit's evolvement, 1701-1826, and Philip Lord's essay dealing with the "Mohawk/Oneida Corridor," which served as the groundwork for the Erie Canal. The articles also make good use of primary and secondary sources, although some contributions representing the later eighteenth century could have benefited further from using the manuscript and microfilmed Papers of the Continental Congress. Such admittedly minor criticisms, however, do not dilute the praiseworthy historical findings contained in this illuminating book.

Sheldon S. Cohen, Loyola University Chicago


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Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America. By Elliot J. Gorn. (New York, N.Y.: Hill and Wang, 2001. xiii + 408p.; illustrations, list of archives, notes, index. $27.00.)

It is typical of the life of Mother Jones that it has taken seventy years after her death for her to get the scholarly attention she deserves. The most unlikely of American heroines in her lifetime, "a mere worker in a country that worshiped success, an immigrant in a nativist land, a woman in a male-dominated society, and an elderly person in a nation that cherished youth," after death she faded not into obscurity but into empty iconography (p. 303). The more she was reclaimed after the 1970s as a symbol of an uncompromising spirited fight against wrong, the less she remained a real person. "Mother" Mary Harris Jones, was never an enigma, but was a person so buried beneath her own purposeful exaggerations, the distortions of her enemies, the domestication of her moderate admirers and the hagiography of later-day activists, that the woman beneath disappeared.

Finally, Elliott J. Gorn has gone about as far as anyone can hope to go in stripping away these layers of myth and showing us the person beneath. Much remains uncertain, but Gorn carefully presents all available evidence to the reader rather than judging for them. Out of this evidentiary triangulation Mary Harris emerges as an even more remarkable woman—remarkable not for living a long life that took her from famine Ireland to the tragedy of watching Yellow Fever take her husband and children in Memphis, to surviving the Chicago fire, and innumerable crossroads of class conflict—but remarkable for consciously making herself into "Mother" Jones.

Beyond his vast research and vivid writing, Gorn's true contribution is to describe the ways in which Mary Jones's re-creation of herself into "Mother" Jones was a brilliant and necessary manipulation of turn-of-the-century symbols and archetypes. In this way Jones can be properly viewed not just as a feisty radical but as one of the inventors with Eugene Debs of "a new American radicalism" (p. 68). As Gorn insightfully observes:

On one level, she turned the symbolism of old age on its head; rather than being an emblem of the past, of bygone days, she made herself into the voice of transcendence. But at the same time, Mother Jones's age and her long history in the movement gave legitimacy to her claims that the union represented a return to true patriotism, to authentic Christianity, to the genuine ways of old. She turned American civil religion to the cause of radical social change (p. 184).

Gorn is particularly interesting in finding the rough edges and contradictions of the character Mary Jones created for herself, such as how her emphasis on traditional motherhood estranged her from the growing movements for women's rights. Or how this strident front-line fighter for workers' rights was often deeply flattered by the personal attention of the rich and powerful. Gorn's description of Jones's activities and backroom politicking in the United Mine Workers Union sheds a new light not only on that union's most violent decades, but also on the great personal frustrations Jones experienced as a paid union organizer looking through her glass ceiling at the parade of incompetents, grafters, and sell-outs who rose to power above her.

All this against a backdrop of labor history that reads better than most textbooks on the subject. Except for one minor hiccup—Gorn states incorrectly on page 259 that the letter bombs sent to prominent industrialists and politicians in the Spring of 1919 "failed to detonate," overlooking the one that ripped the hands off a maid


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in the employ of Senator Thomas W. Hardwick—the book is masterfully researched and written. Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America will long be the standard and definitive biography of Mary Harris Jones and will happily find its way into many classrooms as an excellent introduction to labor history.

Timothy Messer-Kruse, University of Toledo

 

Lincoln Electric: A History. By Virginia P. Dawson. (Cleveland, Ohio: History Enterprises, Inc., 1999. lfi2p.; illustrations, footnotes, index. $12.50 cloth, $8.50 paper.)

Dr. Dawson, who specializes in writing company histories, has produced a well written and useful account of a leading Ohio manufacturing concern. Lincoln Electric: A History chronicles the more than one-hundred-year history of a Cleveland company that is the world's leading producer of arc welding equipment and supplies. While this story is significant in its own right, the book's greatest contribution is its review of how company leaders developed a system of incentive management practices that have been the subject of analysis by business executives and academics.

The history of Lincoln Electric can be divided into essentially three sections. The first covers the period from its founding in 1895 by John C. Lincoln, to 1914 when his younger brother James F. took control. The company initially produced electric motors, and began developing welding machinery around 1907 when the younger Lincoln joined the firm. When John C. retired to pursue other ventures, Lincoln Electric became more focused on the arc welding industry, and James F. was critical to the promotion of this relatively new metal fabrication process. The company founded one of the first schools to educate welders, and was a leader in welding research and development.

The second period of the company's history details the nearly sixty-year tenure of James F. Lincoln as president, during which time the company emerged as the leader in the welding equipment industry. A key reason for this success was the strong and close relations between management and employees. Because Lincoln believed in "democratic capitalism," he designed several incentive programs that would allow workers to realize their full earning potential. These included the use of piecework pay, which encouraged attention to both quality and quantity, employee stock ownership, and annual bonuses based on worker performance. One of the most progressive management systems was the Employee Advisory Board made up of elected representatives to provide feedback on production and worker issues. Finally, Lincoln Electric strictly adhered to a policy of no layoffs, even during the Great Depression.

The third period of Lincoln Electric's history covers the last thirty-five years of operations, during which the company became a global business and member of the Fortune 1000. These changes, however, were not easy and required a significant readjustment in how Lincoln Electric was managed. Because James F. Lincoln was such a dominating figure, subsequent executives found it difficult to depart from his narrowly-focused management style. Because international competition forced the company to expand overseas, this lack of flexibility combined with the economic turmoil beginning in the late-1970s caused Lincoln


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Electric to come close to bankruptcy by the end of the 1980s. In 1993 the company underwent a global reorganization and consolidation that restored Lincoln Electric's financial health, and allowed it to resume its role as the world leader in the arc welding industry.

Dawson's book is valuable to both scholars and the general public. It uses primary source material, including interviews with key executives, to provide a story with a good balance between personal profiles, local Ohio history, and technical business details. It is unfortunate, however, that the author did not make greater ties to what other historians have written about business management practices as they might relate to Lincoln Electric. Such drawbacks, however, are primarily concerns to historians and not the lay reader. Lincoln Electric: A History is recommended to those interested in the history of business management or Ohio business.

David L. Mason, The Ohio State University

 

Gettysburg-The First Day. By Harry W. Pfanz. (Chapel Hill, NC.: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001. xviii + 472p.; illustrations, maps, appendixes, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95.)

Mixing exhaustive research with insightful tactical analysis and a hint of conservationist commentary, Harry Pfanz offers an illuminating narrative of the first day's fighting at Gettysburg while presenting a dispassionate analysis that refutes standard interpretations. Tactical analysis, often down to the regimental level, supports his theses while lifting much (but not all) of the fog of war from the battle, which was a perplexing series of attacks and counterattacks between forces rushed to the field, frequently lacking leadership or coordination.

Noting that the battle has "spawned a number of suppositions" (p. xiv), Pfanz dispels several of them. First is the notion that the battle was inevitable. Assessing the action as a meeting engagement, he states that events and subordinate commanders selected the site, to the surprise and disappointment of both Robert E. Lee and George Meade. Second, he reevaluates the Union cavalry's supposedly heroic role; while acknowledging its importance, he demonstrates that the clash with Confederate infantry was not the "knock down, drag-out" fight the Union horsemen claimed.

In particular, he resurrects the reputation of the Union Eleventh Corps, generally blamed for the late-day Federal defeat. His case is a masterful historical interpretation: the Corps fought in terrain ill-suited for defense and with inadequate numbers to meet its mission, placing it in an impossible situation. Pfanz attaches substantial blame on First Division commander Francis Barlow for placing his forces in an untenable location on Blocher's Knoll, but assigns no fault to corps commander 0. 0. Howard, nor to the common soldiers. The Corps, often accused of an unwillingness to fight, was defeated in part because Barlow was overly aggressive.

His interpretation supports Warren Hassler, Jr. 's, evaluation in Crisis at the Crossroads that the Union First and Eleventh Corps held elements of the Army of Northern Virginia long enough to prevent the Confederates from defeating the Army of the Potomac in detail. However, while Hassler criticized Lee for failing to keep adequate control of his subordinates, Pfanz suggests that Lee had a limited role on July 1, and that his participation was incidental, arriving only after the action ended.

Finally, Pfanz examines the role of Richard Ewell, commander of the Army of


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Northern Virginia's Second Corps. Despite his success north of Gettysburg, Ewell received considerable criticism for failing to take Cemetery Hill late in the afternoon. Pfanz believes the fault was not Ewell's, and that the position was a great deal stronger than Ewell's critics thought. The fifty-four Federal cannons on the hill and on Culp's Hill were a formidable obstacle. Aware of Lee's desire not to fight a general engagement, Ewell decided not to attack a position he felt was too strong, which was a reasonable and prudent decision.

The book's first four chapters provide adequate background to set the battle's time and place. Vignettes on the commanders and first-hand accounts make enjoyable reading, creating an atmosphere of humanity while placing the reader in the heat of battle, struggling to survive. The twenty-five short, trenchant chapters, each describing an event and position, convey both the nature of the battle and its confusion. As the narrative shifts from location to location, readers (like commanders on the ground on July 1) must pay close attention or they may become confused.

Joining Pfanz's other works (Gettysburg: The Second Day and Gettysburg: Cuip 's Hill and Cemetery Hill), this contribution continues his splendid record in providing definitive accounts of America's bloodiest battle. His profound love and concern for the battlefield is evident in eloquent portrayals of the military park, especially those sites altered by time and man. Although the staggering amount of detail can be overwhelming, Civil War enthusiasts will consider the book an ideal companion for a stroll—real or imagined— across McPherson Ridge, up Barlow's Knoll, or through the Railroad Cut.

Mark Van Rhyn, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Migrants Against Slavery: Virginians & The Nation. By Philip J. Schwarz. (Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia, 2001. xii + 25Op.; illustrations, notes, index. $38.50.)

Unlike previous studies of anti-slavery migration, Philip J. Schwarz's monograph focuses on a single state and foregrounds the experience of African Americans. The first three chapters of Migrants provide an overview of black migration-how Virginia's geography facilitated flight from bondage and the impact of Virginia's migration on the nation at large. The last four chapters are case studies that recount the stories of black migrants and their white benefactors.

Virginia slaves who wanted to escape bondage had multiple escape routes available to them due to the state's strategic location between north and south. Since West Virginia had not yet seceded from its namesake, Virginia bordered Pennsylvania and Ohio. Black fugitives therefore had convenient escape routes via land and the Ohio River. The Atlantic Ocean provided an additional water route; fugitives were able to steal away on ships heading north. While Delaware and Maryland runaways had similar geographic advantages, Virginia's black population was significantly larger. These characteristics make Virginia the dominant state in the migration story.

What motivated free African Americans to migrate to the North? By 1806, it was virtually impossible for manumitted blacks to remain in Virginia. In ensuing decades, especially following Nat Turner's revolt, the state legislature enacted new restrictions that indicated its hostility to black independence, so free people of color left in order to safeguard their freedom. Many free blacks also viewed the


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journey north as the pathway toward upward mobility since it was easier for them to realize their dream of becoming landowners there.

Three of the four case studies in Migrants examine the motivations of white slaveholders who facilitated black migration and the plight of the people they assisted. Unlike Quakers, whose strong religious convictions led them to free their slaves, the motivations of the men profiled by Schwarz were largely personal and do not appear to have been directly influenced by common social or political forces such as the abolitionist movement. Ohio figures prominently in these migration narratives. It became home to the slaves of Samuel Gist who were freed under the terms of his will and to Henry Newby, a former slave owner, his common-law wife, a black woman, and their children. The Buckeye state also served as a way station for George Boxley, a slave owner, who fled from Virginia after his involvement in a slave conspiracy was uncovered. Boxley, who finally settled in Indiana, continued to advocate for emancipation in ways that varied from writing passes for black fugitives to teaching anti-slavery ideals to school children. A fourth case study—a biographical portrait of a Virginia couple of mixed African and European ancestry—sheds light on how color and class shaped the decision to migrate.

Schwarz is most convincing when he argues that geography and demographics determined the major contribution that Virginia played in the migration against slavery. He is less persuasive in showing that Virginia migrants shaped the debate over the peculiar institution. For example, Schwarz argues that Dred Scott's birth in Virginia, among other factors, "made a great deal of difference to adjudication of his claim to freedom and to the extraordinary national impact of the decision in Scott v. Sanford" (pp. 73-74). Would the outcome have been different if Dred Scott had been born in Alabama or Mississippi? Probably not. His book certainly would have been more compelling had he been able to show that migrants offered a unique and influential critique of the institution of slavery. Nonetheless, Schwarz has written a useful study of Virginia migrants.

Herman Graham III, Denison University

 

I've Seen the Elephant: An Autobiography. By William B. Saxbe with Peter D. Franklin (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2000, xvi + 267p.; illustrations, notes, index. $28.00.)

William B. Saxbe is one of the more colorful and quotable Ohioans to have served in high public office during the twentieth century. In this humorous, and readable, autobiography, the small-town lawyer from Mechanicsburg, who served in the U.S. Senate, as President Richard Nixon's last attorney general, and as ambassador to India, displays the barbed tongue and independent judgment that endeared him to Ohio voters.

Saxbe does not mince words, or indulge in diplomacy, when reflecting on people and events. He describes long-time Ohio political rival C. William O'Neill as a "damn poor attorney general and a poor governor, but later a good supreme court judge" (p. 62). Saxbe refused to attend Nixon's funeral because he "couldn't forgive Nixon for the lies" (p. 176). Senate Republican leader Bob Dole is described as a "hatchet man" who couldn't sell "ass on a troop ship" (pp. 91, 235). And Saxbe had little respect for Nixon's successor Gerald Ford. "Ford and his crowd from Michigan—they were a sorry bunch . . . . (p. 196).

The Vietnam War divided the nation during Saxbe's Senate term, but nothing in


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the book suggests that Saxbe's opinions on the subject reflected deep thought or study. "I believed that trying to put backbone into Vietnam was like trying to push a truck uphill with a tow rope," he says at one point (p. 96). In the spring of 1969 he warned Nixon that Vietnam was Lyndon B. Johnson's war, and "you've got six months to wind it up. If you don't, it's going to be your war" (p. 99). Then, after the Paris peace talks stalled in December 1972, Nixon stepped up the air force bombing. Saxbe, a member of the Armed Services Committee, opted for headlines with the comment: "The president has taken leave of his senses." A month later, when the peace agreement was signed and the cease-fire began, Saxbe says "that pretty much wound up the war as far as I was concerned" (pp. 108-109).

Saxbe's title—I've Seen the Elephant—is perhaps more revealing than the author intended. To see the elephant is a slang expression for seeing life and the sights of the world. Saxbe certainly saw the latter. During one period of less than four years in the Senate he admits to taking every free trip he could and visiting fifty countries. Saxbe acknowledges that he spent a considerable period of time fishing, hunting pheasants, and golfing during his years of public service. As ambassador to India, he could be found every morning on the links at the Delhi Golf Club, if the Indian government cared to do business.

What emerges from this volume is a bright, engaging, family man who delighted in political campaigning and related well to ordinary people with humor, warmth, and personality. With a plug of Mail Pouch chewing tobacco in his cheek, Saxbe seldom had difficulty winning the labor vote. His cracker-barrel humor made him a favorite of reporters. But, his maverick qualities alarmed Republican leaders, who wanted more support for Nixon administration programs. That later proved a strong point. In 1973 Saxbe was one of the few Republican leaders with credibility to take over the Justice Department after Nixon dismissed Attorney General Elliott Richardson and special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

But, the book also suggests a less flattering image of Saxbe. He comes across a talented politician who thrived on travel, off-the-cuff press statements, and frivolous activity, but who preferred to avoid heavy lifting and hard work. Saxbe admits that he was bored by the minutia of the Senate. "I just couldn't seem to force myself to really get down to detailed study, and as a result, I gave things a lick and a promise rather than become the real expert on matters of importance" (p. 126). In short, the book displays the maverick qualities that made Saxbe the formidable campaigner he was in Ohio politics. It does not present him as a leader or a statesman.

Alfred E. Eckes, Ohio University

 

The Collected Works of William Howard Taft, Vol. 1, Four Aspects of Civic Duty and Present Day Problems. Edited by David H. Burton and A. E. Campbell. (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2001. xxii + 344p. $49.95.)

The Taft family is enjoying something of a scholarly renaissance these days, first with the publication of a selected edition of Senator Robert A. Taft's papers funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and now with Ohio University Press's eight-volume Collected Works of William Howard Taft. The first volume in the collection is actually two books: Four Aspects of Civic Duty, the Dodge Lectures delivered in 1906 at Yale University by William H. Taft while he was secretary of war in the Theodore Roosevelt administration, and


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Present Day Problems, a collection of addresses delivered between 1895, when Taft was a sitting judge, and 1908, when he was a candidate for the presidency of the United States. This volume begins with prefatory remarks by the reigning heads of the family, Governor Robert A. Taft II of Ohio (a great-grandson) and his cousin, Seth Chase Taft (a grandson), the most prominent member of the family in Northeast Ohio. It also includes a short preface to the series and an introduction to this volume by the editors. Both books in this volume are preceded by excellent commentary by both Burton and Campbell.

Civic Duty presents the four Dodge Lectures that examine the "duties of citizenship" from the perspectives of the recent college graduate, the judge on the bench, the colonial administrator, and the president. This is vintage Taft personal philosophy, offering readers a strong dose of late nineteenth-century paternalism. As editor Burton accurately opines, these lectures show William H. Taft's confidence as a thinker and practitioner of a unique brand of corporate liberalism and imperial expansion, "convinced of the rightness and righteousness of America as he wanted it to be" (p. 7).

Present Day Problems, the far larger work, is the far more significant work for historians to mine. This book, originally published for Taft's battle against William Jennings Bryan in the 1908 presidential campaign, presents fifteen addresses that tackle popular distrust of the federal judiciary at the time of the Pullman Strike, that explain President Theodore Roosevelt's policies on antitrust, labor relations, and foreign relations with Far Eastern nations, and justify United States colonial rule in the Philippines.

Why does this book have value for historians of Progressive Era Ohio and the nation? Present Day Problems, and the much anticipated second volume in this series, Political Issues and Outlooks, provide us with Taft's most significant public contributions to the American discourse on civilization, offered through the no-holds-barred vehicle of political argument. The fifteen addresses, as editor Campbell's rich commentary rightly notes, demonstrate "Taft's political character, political opinions, political prejudices" (p. 66). Addresses on colonial rule in the Philippines and race relations in the American South, which clearly demonstrate the linkage in Taft's mind between the "civilizing mission" in the insular colonies and racial uplift at home, blast Democrats for desiring to abandon the "White Man's Burden" of empire and reduce African Americans at home to the status of permanent servitude. Similarly, Taft's "Labor and Capital," "Legislative Policies of the Present Administration," and "A Republican Congress and Administration," which reveal his conceptions of liberty, property, and progress through the "use of wealth as capital," slam Bryan and Democracy's orators for wanting to dismantle the new American empire and the modern industrial corporation, both essential instruments of progress in Taft's mind, and setting America back in the continuing process of civilization.

Cultural historians interested in the debates over empire, race, and civilization, and historians of party ideology and political argument at the start of the last century will find this volume (and the next one in this collection) very useful. I applaud the editors for embarking on such an ambitious project and Ohio University Press for publishing this important collection.

Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr., Kent State University


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Spaniards and Nazi Germany: Collaboration in the New Order. By Wayne H. Bowen. (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 2000. xii + 250p.; bibliography, index. $34.95.)

Wayne Bowen focuses on an important but little-discussed topic, the relationship between the Spanish Falange and the Third Reich from the Nazi regime's rise to power to its defeat in 1945. In his account, Spain's nationalist dictator, Francisco Franco, obviously cannot help but play a significant role. Yet the author is chiefly concerned to question the prevailing view that Franco successfully subordinated the Falange, for he describes in detail the Falange's collaboration with the Nazi New Order, which it believed would further its syndicalist vision of interclass harmony. In so doing, Bowen emphasizes the degree to which Falangist collaboration with Germany challenged Franco's authoritarian conservatism and foreign policy pragmatism. That challenge became evident once Franco decided to keep Spain neutral during the Second World War and especially pronounced after Stalingrad when Franco no longer expected an Axis victory. Although Hitler's vision of the New Order would not accommodate Spain's territorial ambitions or its claims to world leadership, Spanish "Naziphiles" remained committed to a partnership with Germany that would realize a fascist alternative to liberal democracy and communism. Falangists proved their dedication when Spain's neutrality did not compel them to do so. They enthusiastically mobilized Spanish workers for work in the Reich's factories and farms and Spanish volunteers for the Blue Division that fought with the Germans against the Soviet Union.

What was so attractive about National Socialism? Providing fascinating detail from interviews with former Falangists and from recently declassified Spanish archives, Bowen argues that apparent success of Nazi social policy captivated Spanish Naziphiles: the German Labor Front's inclusion of workers and employers in a single mass organization and the relatively high living standards of German workers (obviously appealing in Spain with its underdeveloped economy devastated by the civil war), the mass tourism of the Nazi leisure-time organization Strength through Joy, and the militarized Nazi "national community" (Volksgemeinschaft) that had seemingly abolished class conflict and produced a common national purpose. The Falangists expected that the Nazi social "revolution" would restore Europe to its position as the beacon of classical and Christian civilization against barbaric asiatic Bolshevism while guaranteeing Spain's great power status. According to Bowen, coercion played little role in the collaboration of Spanish Naziphiles, for the Falangists in any case looked past the pervasive murderousness that came to define the Third Reich. Remarkably, a good many Spanish Naziphiles continued to support the New Order, despite their losses in the Soviet Union, the humiliating subjection of Spanish workers to the Reich's draconian racial laws, and even major reverses such as Stalingrad and later D-Day. The desire to revitalize the nationalist commitment of the civil war period, financial need, and especially ideological sympathy with Nazism encouraged many to hope for Germany's ultimate triumph.

One can fault Bowen for overemphasizing the differences between the Falange and the Caudillo. If the Falange have proven more obstreperous and independent than historians have generally appreciated and Franco's reluctance to become a vassal of Germany is certainly a matter of record, the Falange scarcely outdid Franco's own militant anticommunism, which encouraged him to support


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Barbarossa, an anti-Bolshevik and anti-Semitic crusade that took the war in Europe to its genocidal depths. Nevertheless, Bowen has performed a real service in exploring the motivations and activities of Spaniards who willingly and fanatically endorsed the New Order (especially their perceptions as to the "success" of Nazi social programs) when national and self-interest should have discouraged them. As such, he underscores how profound was the social and political polarization of the first half of the twentieth century, as well as the pathetic and repulsive lengths that many went to create social harmony.

Shelley Baranowski, University of Akron

 

American Abolitionists. By Stanley Harrold. (Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited, 2001. l7Op.; chronology, glossary, who's who, bibliography, index. $12.00.)

Stanley Harrold's American Abolitionists is part of the Seminar Studies in History series, a series new to American historians but originally founded in 1966 to deal with major themes in European and world history. The series' goal is to bridge the "ever-widening gap" between experts in the field and the general public. Not only does each work in the series "illustrate major themes" and "clarify complex issues without over-simplifying them," but each is also written to "provoke discussion" and "stimulate readers into deepening their knowledge and understanding" of the topic (p. ix). Harrold has accomplished each of these goals well. For those looking for an accessible series for college students, this is a marvelous addition.

American Abolitionists is divided into four parts. The first provides a broad overview of abolitionism in American History and its historiographical developments. The second section is the heart of the monograph. It analyzes all the major themes and controversies surrounding the study of abolitionism. The third section briefly assesses the developments outlined in the analytical section. Finally, the documents section provides an excellent selection of primary sources.

Harrold, representing the "new directions" in abolitionist historiography, argues that "abolitionism was a radical movement shaped by the refusal of African Americans to accept enslavement." Moreover, although abolitionists did not directly cause the civil war nor directly bring about emancipation, "their efforts to shape opinion and their aggressive actions had an important impact. Although the abolitionists failed to bring about racial justice, and white abolitionists were not fully conscious of their own racism, the movement pushed a reluctant nation toward egalitarian goals" (p. 9).

Chapter by chapter, Harrold details how the abolitionists developed from a small band of Puritans, Quakers, and African Americans in the colonial period, to immediatists looking to peaceful protest, and then culminating in an influential band of whites and blacks, men and women, using a variety of means-some violent-to achieve not only the end of slavery but also racial justice. Throughout, he emphasizes the important role that African Americans, both free and slave, northern and southern, played in the movement. From early petitions for freedom to slave revolts, escapes, and black conventions, African Americans educated and helped radicalize white abolitionists. He even points to the significance of the Haitian revolt to the development of abolitionist thought and methodology.


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Harrold also stresses the significant effect the movement had not only in stimulating the women's rights movement, but also in developing new notions of gender.

The documents section will help students better understand the vocabulary of abolitionism. And because the earlier narrative references most documents, students have a good context within which to read these primary sources. Generally, the selection of documents is good—including representative writings of African Americans and whites, men and women, northerners and southerners. However, most are "traditional." Given Harrold's broad definition of abolitionism, it would have been nice for him to have included a poem by Phyllis Wheatley or an excerpt of some court actions. But this is a minor quibble of an excellent book that gives students a clear understanding of the many facets and significant contributions abolitionists made and the means they used to accomplish their goals. Moreover, throughout, Harrold provides his readers with concise analyses of historiographical changes. The bibliography lists over two hundred books and articles, another valuable source. There is also an excellent map illustrating the various territorial compromises over slavery. Students come away with an in-depth understanding not only of the abolitionist movement but also how historians have differed and why.

Roberta Sue Alexander, University of Dayton