Ohio History Journal

Winter-Spring 2003
pp. 38-63

Copyright © 2003 by the Ohio Historical Society. All rights reserved.

and Book Notes


Ohio: The History of a People
By Andrew R. L. Cayton

Reviewed by
H. Roger Grant

Buckeye Women: The History of Ohio’s Daughters
By Stephane Elise Booth

Reviewed by
Phyllis F. Field

Visions of Place: The City, Neighborhoods, Suburbs, and Cincinnati’s Clifton, 1850-2000
By Zane L. Miller

Reviewed by
Dan Kearns

Carl B. Stokes and the Rise of Black Political Power
By Leonard N. Moor
Reviewed by
Abel A. Bartley

Faith and Action: A History of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821-1996
By Roger Fortin
Reviewed by Leslie Liedel

Building Ohio: A Traveler’s Guide to Ohio’s Urban Architecture

Building Ohio: A Traveler’s Guide to Ohio’s Rural Architecture

By Jane Ware
Reviewed by Stephen C. Gordon

The Collected Works of William Howard Taft, Volume III, Presidential Addresses & State Papers
Edited by David H. Burton
R eviewed by Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.

A History of Jonathan Alder: His Captivity and Life with the Indians
By Henry Clay Alder. Transcribed and with a foreword by Doyle H. Davison. Edited by Larry L. Nelson
Reviewed by John Sugden

Peters & King: The Birth & Evolution of the Peters Cartridge Co. & the King Powder Co.
By Thomas D. Schiffer
Reviewed by Donald Hutslar

Making Sense of the City: Local Government, Civic Culture, and Community Life in Urban America
Edited by Robert B. Fairbanks and Patricia Mooney-Melvin
Reviewed by David C. Hammack

James Monroe: Oberlin’s Christian Statesman & Reformer, 1821-1898
By Catherine M. Rokicky
Reviewed by Peter S. Genovese



On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren
By Donald B. Kraybill and Carl F. Bowman
Reviewed by Stephen Scott

Appalachia: A History
By John Alexander Williams
Reviewed by James C. Klotter

James Burnham and the Struggle for the World: A Life By Daniel Kelly
Reviewed by Justus D. Doenecke

Strikebreaking & Intimidation: Mercenaries and Masculinity in Twentieth-Century America By Stephen H. Norwood
Reviewed by Daniel Clark

Days of Discontent: American Women and Right-Wing Politics, 1933-1945
By June Melby Benowitz
Reviewed by Janet Kennedy

Jefferson Davis, Confederate President
By Herman Hattaway and Richard E. Beringer
Reviewed by Frank Byrne

The Underground Railroad in Floyd County, Indiana
By Pamela R. Peters
Reviewed by Larry Gara

Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26-June 3, 1864
By Gordon C. Rhea
Reviewed by Timothy B. Smith

The Union Divided: Party Conflict in the Civil War North
By Mark E. Neely, Jr.
Reviewed by Frederick J. Blue

Company “A” Corps of Engineers, U.S.A., 1846-1848, in the Mexican War
By Gustavus Woodson Smith.
Reviewed by Damon R. Eubank

Serving Two Masters: The Development of American Military Chaplaincy, 1860-1920
By Richard M. Budd
Reviewed by Jon David K. Wyneken

Dear Brother: Letters of William Clark to Jonathan Clark
Edited by James Holmberg
Reviewed by Patrick Griffin

Mama Learned Us to Work: Farm Women in the New South
By LuAnn Jones
Reviewed by Virginia Evans McCormick




Unlocking City Hall: Exploring the History of Local Government and Politics. By Michael W. Homel. (Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing, Inc. xiii + 167p.; illustrations, suggested readings, index.)

This useful guide for students and amateur historians interested in researching local government and politics is part of the Exploring Community History series. As the cornerstone of a community’s identity, government and politics should be studied by those interested in understanding today’s problems or interested in becoming involved in community affairs through political office or conserving a landmark. The book is divided into three parts, which inform the reader on how to construct questions and limit boundaries for research, what kind of sources are available and how to evaluate those sources, and how to present findings of research. Thoughtfully placed illustrations, an editor’s introduction, specific and general examples, and suggested readings after each of the seven chapters add to its appeal.

Kristina Markel
Ohio Historical Society

Cincinnati, City of Seven Hills and Five Inclines. By John H. White, Jr. (Cincinnati, Ohio: Cincinnati Railroad Club, Inc., 2001. 128p.; illustrations, index.)

Written and illustrated by an unabashed rail enthusiast, this glossy hardbound volume visually and verbally chronicles selected aspects of Cincinnati’s street transit lines and its five inclined planes (1872–1947), which for most readers will be the most fascinating part of the city’s transit history. Four chapters—Inclines and Hilltop Houses, the Cincinnati Inclined Plane Railway Company, the Mt. Adams and Eden Park Railway Company, and the locally revered Mt. Adams Incline—are presented in an enthusiastic yet formidably researched style. Three of the chapters are updated and expanded reprints of research begun by the author half a century ago, while the final chapter is new, previously unpublished material. Engaging personal recollections and contemporary accounts complement the more technical and engineering aspects of the book. More than one hundred historic black and white photos, drawings, and reproduced illustrations bring visual vitality to the subject. Book proceeds benefit the publisher, the oldest railroad club in Ohio.

Stephen C. Gordon
Ohio Historical Society

Paperback Photo Compilations From Arcadia Publishing, Chicago, Illinois

Toledo, A History in Architecture, 1890–1914. By William D. Speck. (Images of America series. 2002, 160p.; illustrations, index, bibliography.)

Cleveland’s Greatest Fighters of All TimeW By Jerry Fitch. (Images of Sports series. 2002, 128p.; illustrations. $19.99 paper.)

Ohio’s Amusement Parks in Vintage Postcards. By David W. and Diane DeMali Francis. (Postcard History Series. 2002, 128p.; illustrations.)

Cottages and Castles of Maumee. By Marilyn Van Voorhis Wendler. (Then & Now series. 2002, 96p.; illustrations, glossary, suggested reading.)

Arcadia Publishing has produced a “good thing.” Their books, published using a standardized format, offer interesting views of local topics through vintage photographs and captions which illustrate local history in informative detail. Offering a wide range of topics in their series— Images of America; Black America; Voices of America; Images of Sports; Postcard History; and Campus History—Arcadia lives up to its claim to be the “country’s leading publisher of local and regional history books.” Arcadia also publishes full-text histories for its Making of America series. Certainly their books, individually authored by local historians or specialists in the topic at hand, are a fascinating and often personal glimpse into local communities. Arcadia should Ÿe congratulated for preserving local history and for bringing to a larger audience images and information which would often languish for want of a publisher.

Laura Russell
Ohio Historical Society

Ohio History also received these titles from the Images of America series. For a complete list of current titles, go to www.arcadiapublishing.com.

Middletown Pacemakers: The Story of an Ohio Hot Rod Club, by Ron Roberson.

Rocky River, Ohio, by Carol Lestock.

Sharonville and Its People, by Maria R. Eckhoff.

Fostoria, Ohio. Volume II, by Paul H. Krupp.

Groveport and Madison Township, Ohio, by Richard Lee Palsgrove.

Hudson, Ohio, by Jane Ann Turzillo.

Ohio Valley Pottery Towns, by Pamela Lee Gray.

Bellevue and Historic Lyme Village, by Bill Drown

Sandusky Ohio, by Ron Davidson


Ohio: The History of a People. By Andrew R. L. Cayton. (Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University Press, 2002. vii + 472p.; illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $35.00.)

The title of this imaginative book aptly indicates its coverage. Andrew R. L. Cayton, an Ohio native and Distinguished Professor of History at Miami University in Oxford, analyzes Ohio’s citizenry from the time of the Northwest Territory to the present, nearly two centuries after statehood.

The story of Ohio’s people is complex, yet patterns developed. During the formative years of settlement Ohio sported a population that was disparate but generally united by the overwhelming desire for self-betterment. Optimism, which historian Frederick Jackson Turner found to be a leading product of the frontier experience, characterized the typical outlook of most residents. Throughout the first part of the early nineteenth century “island communities” commonly described their homes. Significantly, these localized societies failed to create “a transcendent public culture of the kind its founders had believed was critical to the realization of its enormous potential” (p. 43). Yet as the century passed, a “public culture” emerged, partially produced byüan expanded and more democratic educational system and partially by an ever-accelerating transportation and communication network. By the Gilded Age the nation’s seventeenth state had become a mostly prosperous place where the “get ahead” spirit remained strong, although tempered with a sense of public service. The world views of Rutherford and Lucy Webb Hayes illustrate the importance of civil responsibility, character, and virtue to native-born, middle-class residents. Then the complexion of the citizenry changed significantly, due largely to an expanding industrial sector that attracted tens of thousands of hopeful individuals, especially from Southern and Eastern Europe and the American South and Appalachia. Although a majority were Euro-Americans, people of color, too, arrived, continuing their historical in-migration to Ohio and finding life generally improved over their previous conditions. But Ohio was hardly paradise.

White Ohioans might realize the promise of American life, yet relations with native-born citizens could be strained. During this time of demographic change the progressive movement, part of a national house-cleaning escapade, took hold. Many citizens again earnestly sought to promote and protect the “public interest.” But following the Great War Ohio changed again, and not necessarily for the better. Cayton concludes that “Once full of enthusiasm and promise, Ohio now seemed increasingly petty, provincial, and stagnant” (p. 246). The “shallow conformity” of the 1920s gave way to years of economic struggle. The Great Depression understandably “stunned Ohioans emotionally as well as economically” (p. 313). Still the prosperity produced by World War II and the immediate postwar period tended to lessen friction between white ethnic groups and created the sense that the state was the right place to live. Ownership of a “french-fried ranch burger” in the suburbs indicated that dreams had been fulfilled.

Blacks mostly missed out of what so many citizens considered to be the good life. In the 1960s racial conflict erupted, not just in major cities but in some of the smaller, industrial ones as well. Racial peace finally returned, but racism never vanished. Just as the 1930s were difficult for all Ohioans, the past seemed to be repeated with the emergence of the “Rust Bowl” in the 1970s. Youngstown, for one, faced enormous economic difficulties, which this Mahoning County community never solved. As countless white Ohioans worried about their future, their commitment to a public interest faded. “But much of the frustration in late-twentieth-century Ohio was born of fear,” explains Cayton, “fear that the world was changing too much and that the demand for resources was far outrunning the ability of Ohio to provide enough for everyone.” Concludes Clayton, “No longer seeing Ohio as a land of limitless possibilities, [residents] . . . accept it as a nice place to live; a place somewhere in the middle of everything; a place that is, according to the state tourist bureau, the heart of it all” (p. 400).

The task of writing a social history of a state is daunting and easy for any reviewer to criticize. Admittedly, this is not a perfect book. There are shortcomings, ranging from too much coverage of events in Cincinnati to errors of fact and omission. For example, Lorain is not an industrial city east of Cleveland and the “sub-culture” of places located in such transportation zones as the Ohio River, Ohio & Erie Canal and Pennsylvania Railroad is mostly ignored. Still, Cayton has accomplished much. His research is impressive, for example incorporating the famous and not-so-famous pieces of indigenous literature. More importantly, Cayton has wrestled with the topic, making sense out of Ohio’s social past. He shows convincingly that there has been considerable conflict and tension historically between citizens, and that at times the tyranny of the majority has caused harm.

H. Roger Grant, Clemson University

Buckeye Women: The History of Ohio’s Daughters. By Stephane Elise Booth. (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2001. xvi + 239p.; illustrations, notes, index. $37.95 cloth; $17.95 paper.)

If Ohio’s women know little of their history, it is scant wonder. Stephane Elise Booth’s (Kent State, Salem) book, written for the state’s bicentennial, represents the first attempt at a synthesis for adult readers. Her task is enormous. Despite making up half the population, women’s presence in the historical record is scanty, sometimes represented only by husbands’ names (Mrs. Leonard Bates, e.g.). For generations history has placed women’s activities at the margins. Women’s “work” is often unacknowledged, even in the census, and their “firsts” scorned as occurring decades or even centuries after similar achievements by men. Booth makes no complaints other than a polite reminder in her preface for all women to preserve their diaries, letters, and mementos.

In a seminal 1975 article Gerda Lerner outlined four successive stages in women’s history. In the first, women search for the extraordinary achievers like Marie Curie. In the second, they seek women’s contributions to areas, like Progressive reform, already defined as historically significant. The third and fourth stages are more controversial, requiring the reconfiguring of important historical generalizations about the past based on women’s experiences and the incorporation of notions of gender as a social construct.

Booth’s work, perhaps defined by the sources she synthesizes, falls largely into stages one and two. An opening chapter on frontier Ohio emphasizing women as bearers of culture is followed by topical chapters devoted to paid employment (including the professions and entrepreneurial endeavors), politics (including abolition and temperance as well as the suffrage struggle and modern-day office holding), benevolent activities, cultural activities, and finally religious, educational, and literary efforts. Non-traditional areas for women such as science, technology, and invention do not even make the index. The topical chapters are developed chronologically but often at the expense of overlap and repetition. Victoria Woodhull’s career is divided among three chapters and developed in none; the second Great Awakening, relevant to most chapters, appears briefly in two. Booth tries to mention as many different women as possible. Female-founded organizations also dot most pages but without any observations on the larger patterns of women’s institutional involvement. Booth is careful to include women of all classes, races, and backgrounds, although more well-to-do women inevitably dominate. Her theme is one of progress, that women have a “rich history they can call upon” (p. 190) to solve lingering problems.

Regrettably for the many that will turn to it for understanding, this is a difficult book to read. Not only is there a failure to edit out passive voice and colorless verbs but the avalanche of names mentioned only briefly numbs the reader. A broader picture that addresses societal expectations on women and the impact of modernization on gender realities never emerges. There is insufficient detail on most persons to stimulate further investigation by the novice. The assigned length (dictated by the series) prevents meaningful comparisons with Ohio’s men or the women of other states. Booth is heavily reliant on secondary sources; consequently the actual voices of women seldom emerge. Illustrations, however, are both varied and abundant.

Booth is most effective in suggesting the sheer volume of women’s involvement in areas outside the home, especially at the local level. Her strongest chapter is that on paid employment and union activity which reflects her own research interests. Given the diversity, incompleteness, and unevenness of what has passed for research on women for much of Ohio’s history, she has made a noble effort. The history of Ohio’s women, however, remains very much a work in progress.

Phyllis F. Field, Ohio University

Visions of Place: The City, Neighborhoods, Suburbs, and Cincinnati’s Clifton, 1850-2000. By Zane L. Miller. (Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University Press, 2001. xii + 217p.; illustrations, appendix, notes, bibliography, index. $37.50.)

Zane Miller continues his tradition of finely written urban history in Visions of Place: the City, Neighborhoods, Suburbs, and Cincinnati’s Clifton, 1850-2000. As befits this distinguished historian, he takes a small neighborhood within a city and uses it to draw out important analysis of the larger city and country while still being attentive to the smaller entity’s uniqueness and agency as its own historic actor. Miller argues that periodization is the key tool of analysis for historians and spends most of the book describing three distinct periods in the history of the Clifton neighborhood, but he also develops a theme of “community-mindedness.” It is this concept—how people in a city argue for the good of the whole against their own more parochial interests—that is the chief delight of this work.

The periodization that Miller develops sees significant eras of Clifton’s history being encapsulated in 1850-1910, 1910-1950, and 1950 to the present. In the first period, a concern for Clifton’s place within the wider city of Cincinnati dominated its history. That same vision held, but with important differences, after 1910. However, after 1950, a sense of the interests of the individual neighborhood overriding those of the city came to the fore.

In the first era, which can perhaps be described as Victorian in orientation, the rise of new transportation technologies turned Clifton from a detached suburb to an integral part of a larger network of interaction. Clifton’s residents became strong players in progressive attempts to reform city government, and civic boosterism became its dominant ethos. After 1910, though, Clifton residents turned towards a vision of city life based in a biological metaphor of growth, decay, and finally death. Recognizing that neighborhoods would decline over time, Clifton sought to plan for the day when “modernization” efforts would be needed to revivify the neighborhood. Ironically, all of their plans did not foresee the turbulent future that would be brought on by massive social changes after World War II. Using the specific history of the civic group that came to be called the Clifton Town Meeting (CTM), Miller follows those changes which brought racial and class diversity to the fore. He explores how the older vision of a natural life-cycle to neighborhoods was replaced by a need to show Clifton as a durable in-town suburb rather than in decline. This change brought the interests of the neighborhood into conflict with the wider city’s need to deal with the issue of diversity. Clifton wished to retain its traditional character, and has continued to insist that its need to remain stable has outweighed other city interests.

While the periodization presented by Miller is useful, it is the theme of civic responsibility that he interweaves through it that captured the imagination of this reviewer. One interesting contradiction presented by Miller’s periodization is that his description of the work of the CTM shows a sympathy to their actions even while their concern for the neighborhood over the city sometimes seems to betray his idea that civic responsibility should be the glue that holds a city together. It is possible that Professor Miller even gives a pass to the white paternalism that seems to have driven much of the CTM’s response to the racial division of the modern era. The concerns of the residents of Clifton, who could perhaps be described using the recent term “bourgeois bohemians,” could have been used to tease out how obsessions with property values conflict with the wider social concerns the CTM would claim to be sensitive to. The issue of how left-leaning city dwellers react to racial and class diversity certainly would be a useful subject for further research.

In the end, though, Miller’s work is well worth reading, and—with the caveat that reviewers might need some familiarity with the neighborhood in a book dense with street names and specific locations—should be considered another classic from such an important historian.

Dan Kearns, Xavier University

Carl B. Stokes and the Rise of Black Political Power„ By Leonard N. Moore. (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2002. 242p.; illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95.)

Carl B. Stokes’s election as America’s first African American mayor was a powerful symbol of America’s progress on racial issues and a sobering reminder of how far we had to go. Stokes found himself in the impossible position of trying to fulfill all of the expectations of Black America while maintaining his hold on an office which demanded support from a White constituency. Leonard Moore’s biography of Carl Stokes’s life and tenure as Cleveland’s mayor is a magnificent look at the limits of power and significance of race in explaining African American progress. Moore takes Stokes from his childhood as an economically disadvantaged youth growing up in the dangerous streets of Cleveland to his elevation to the chief executive of Cleveland. Stokes never forgot his life in a single parent home with little to no economic resources. He utilized his childhood experiences to recreate himself into a champion of the poor and disadvantaged.

Throughout the book Moore attempts to humanize Stokes and explain away some of his failings, as an administrator and politician, while giving him credit for his successes. Stokes earned a law degree and then got involved in the rough and tumble of Cleveland politics. He shrewdly built a political base by charting out territory in the middle of the Cleveland political sphere. Stokes built a grassroots campaign courting African Americans and White moderates.

Stokes took advantage of the political and social turmoil of the 1960s and offered Cleveland’s business and political elites a moderate reformer who promised to deliver social stability. Stokes anchored his two terms in office in his effort to improve conditions and housing for Cleveland’s disadvantaged minority residents. He immediately ran into opposition from his own party which was much more conservative than he. The City Council President opposed the mayor at every turn, often blocking or delaying his programs.

Stokes’s progressive plans were often thwarted by conservatives who opposed the mayor’s program. Stokes coalition of business progressives and African Americans was never strong enough to control the city. As a result, he was easily defeated on many of his programs. For example, Stokes was unable to convince middle-class African Americans to accept subsidized housing in their neighborhoods. One of Stokes’s greatest failures was his effort to reform the police force. The Cleveland police were notorious for their heavy-handed tactics against the African American community. Stokes wanted to reform the department and increase the number of minority officers. Rank and file police officers joined with opponents from the city council to block his efforts at reform. Even his appointment of one of America’s most respected African Americans, General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., proved a failure. Stokes’s administration never gained the stature to sell his programs to the community.

Even though Stokes received generous federal grants, he was unable to convince local residents to support his comprehensive urban renewal program. After four years in office, Stokes’s effectiveness as a leader had obviously waned. Stokes was undone by th½ very forces which brought him to power. A race riot, civil service scandal, economic upheaval, and the national shift towards conservativism doomed any hopes for a third term in office.

Leonard Moore does a wonderful job of outlining the expectations and disappointments associated with African American leadership. Stokes came to office at a difficult time. Moore brilliantly outlines the many problems that limited Stokes’s effectiveness and doomed his administration. Stokes remains a significant symbol of African American political potential. Moore’s book is a must read for all those interested in understanding the life and legacy of America’s first modern African American mayor.

Abel A. Bartley, University of Akron

Faith and Action: A History of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821-1996. By Roger Fortin. (Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University Press, 2002. xvii + 489p.; illustrations, notes, index. $34.95.)

In Faith and Action: A History of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821-1996, Roger Fortin (Academic Vice President, Xavier University) brings to life the people, places, and events that have shaped the archdiocese’s history from its inception through the mid-1990s. Traditionally, diocesan histories were often privately published and written by diocesan employees who worked as amateur historians and archivists. These studies tended to focus on parish building, activities of local bishops, and the proliferation of charitable endeavors. In recent years, comprehensive monographs (such as Leslie Woodcock Tentler’s work of the archdiocese of Detroit and Gerald Fogarty’ s history of Catholicity in Virginia) have demonstrated that such histories should do much more than simply chronicle diocesan growth. Faith and Action has far more in common with these latter examples than with the early diocesan histories.

Fortin divides his work according to major eras commonly associated with American Catholic history (the colonial period, the immigrant church during the nineteenth century, increasing bureaucratization and the confrontation with modernism during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the period after the second Vatican council). Indeed, this makes sense to the student of American Catholic history. But Fortin’s clear association between historical era and the tenure of local church leaders such as Archbishops John Purcell, Henry Moeller, and John McNicholas makes this work accessible to those whose principal interest is in local history.

The primary strength of Faith and Action rests in Fortin’s examination of an enormous supply of archival material and in his ability to incorporate these sources into a lively prose. For those who know something about the history of the archdiocese in the nineteenth century, the banking scandal involving Purcell’s brother, Father Edward Purcell, might serve as a familiar example. I have read about this complicated issue, which gained notoriety after primarily Catholic depositors in Purcell’s bank made a run during the financial panic of 1878. But I have never seen it presented in such an objective manner and in the context of the church on a national level and society at large.

Indeed, Fortin’s ability to place the history of Catholicism in Cincinnati in a larger national and international historical context is an additional strength of this work. During the early days of Hitler’s Nazi Germany, the diocesan newspaper Catholic Telegraph often espoused a suspicious view of the rumors that German Jews were being persecuted, much less made victims of blatant anti-Semitism. Although Archbishop McNicholas was opposed to the anti-Semitism that was wholly apparent within the context of 1930s American culture, he did not censor the newspaper even though his position was well known. Such an example demonstrates the role that both the laity and the hierarchy played in the growth and development of American Catholicism during the twentieth century. And Fortin’s account is replete with such instances.

The book includes an exceptional table of contents complete with subchapters. It seems that technology has allowed for an almost too comprehensive index since Cleveland bishop James Gilmour is mentioned in the text as well as the index. I am quite sure that Bishop James Gilmour was not a leader in the American Catholic Church, and I am certain that this person had no affiliation with the diocese of Cleveland. The Cleveland diocese was actually led by Richard Gilmour from 1872 until his death in 1891. He too appears in both the text and index. More careful editing would have eliminated this problem. While I appreciate the appendix that includes a list of parishes, readers would benefit from a similar appendix for religious orders and institutions. In addition, since the archdiocese experienced dramatic growth resulting in several territorial divisions, appropriate maps would have also been helpful inclusions. And finally, while Fortin incorporates the creation and growth of charitable institutions, the significance of ethnic Catholicism, and the evolution of educational opportunities, he limits portraits, photographs, and drawings to church leaders and a few of Cincinnati’s first churches.

Overall, these are very minor complaints that do not affect the superior quality of this work. Indeed, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk should be commended for his willingness to allow complete access to the archdiocesan archives. And Roger Fortin should be praised for utilizing these sources to write a scholarly and absorbing book.

Leslie Liedel, Wheeling Jesuit University


Building Ohio: A Traveler’s Guide to Ohio’s Urban Architecture. By Jane Ware. (Wilmington, Ohio: Orange Frazer Press, 2001. xxiii + 330p.; illustrations, bibliography, index. $22.00 paper.)

Building Ohio: A Traveler’s Guide to Ohio’s Rural Architecture. By Jane Ware. (Wilmington, Ohio: Orange Frazer Press, 2002. xxi + 417p.; illustrations, bibliography, index. $22.00 paper.)

Images of table-flat terrain, dead presidents, and a bleak, winter climate frequently play to the stereotype of Ohio’s ordinariness, a plain midwestern place that one travels through to get somewhere else. Call it the Midwest’s version of Oakland, a kind of inland no-place. Building Ohio’s fresh, handsomely illustrated message helps dismiss preconceptions of Ohio’s plain architectural image without being overly pedagogical. Here at last is a welcome two-volume set that begins to fill a serious gap in Ohio’s architectural story. Until now the topic has largely consisted of detailed scholarly examinations and reports devoted to specific buildings and locales or lighter works penned by amateur enthusiasts. This glove-compartment-size set is neither. Readable without being thinly popular, tour guide more than architectural history, Building Ohio focuses more on the visual diversity of the state’s built environment rather than the building process. The author uses buildings to tell stories, many of them amusing, about the people who lived in them, designed them or helped save them. Knowledge of these buildings will, by implication, increase public awareness and serve as a citizen call for preservation. Ware writes from the premise that virtually every place in Ohio had money at some time, and lucky for us, this convergence of wealth, energy and personality became our Bicentennial inheritance. Her casual journalistic style, (“vuluptuous house” and “scouts Ohio for good stuff”) should not belie the fact both works are built on thorough research accurately and meticulously compiled. In assembling the raw material for this self-professed eight year “labor of love,” Ware tapped countless photos and state inventory records, traveled thousands of miles and interviewed a cast of experts and colorful individuals, all of them generously quoted and acknowledged. Profiled in collaboration with Douglas Graf, associate professor of architecture at The Ohio State University, the result is no less an anthology of Ware and Graf’s favorite buildings.

In the first volume, A Traveler’s Guide to Ohio’s Urban Architecture, Ware profiles the state’s eight largest cities, a daunting task for even the most efficient writer. Inevitably the staggering breadth of the topic allows the author precious space to be comprehensive, so only the most prominent examples are profiled. Still, weaving lively, fact-filled text with photos, floor plans, and line drawings of pivotal buildings, Ware manages to capture the physical essence of each major city. Cincinnati is typified by its solid vernacular building stock, Cleveland by its conservative Neo-classical tradition and Period Revival houses, Columbus its “islands of savvy,” and Dayton by its surprisingly understudied yet rich cityscape. Akron, Canton, Toledo, and Youngstown are given cameo appearances that leave the reader hungry for more. Collectively, the alphabetically arranged chapters offer glimpses into Ohio’s remarkable urban diversity, in particular the seminal period from 1880-1920 that manifested today into what Ware describes as “Places that Matter.”

The second volume, A Traveler’s Guide to Ohio’s Rural Architecture, may from the reviewer’s perspective have been more accurately titled a Traveler’s Guide to Ohio’s Towns and Villages. In truth there is little attention given to the state’s rich collection of farmsteads, outbuildings, barn types, and rural industrial complexes such as mills and grain elevators. The book tends to pay homage to higher style architecture at the expense of the rural vernacular landscape, passing over commonplace American Four Squares, Grange Halls, and consolidated schools. Missing from Rural Architecture are a number of significant places, too, including Brown County, Fremont, Germantown, Kelley’s Island, Elizabeth Township in Miami County, Portsmouth, Steubenville and the Amish-Mennonite settlements in Allen and Holmes Counties, just to name a few of my favorites. Other representative types are absent, but perhaps arguably not buildings strictly defined, are bridges, water towers, and public monuments. In the end the real strength of Rural Architecture lies in its town narratives. We learn so much, including the claim that Oberlin has the nation’s finest group of Cass Gilbert buildings and that the Bushnell Mausoleum in Springfield’s Snyder Park may be the best of its kind in Ohio.

-oth narratives tend to fall a bit heavily on the aesthetic to the exclusion of meaning and interpretation. How, if at all, are cultural assimilation 0nd technology reflected in Ohio’s built environment, and perhaps more importantly for a road guide, where can one drive to see rapidly disappearing vestiges of worker housing, ethnic architecture, and historic farmsteads? What were the social and economic conditions that influenced, for example, particular styles and types, including Cleveland Doubles, I Houses and large apartment blocks? Curiously, several important architectural innovations, pathbreaking developments, company towns, and public ventures such as Greenhills and Lakeview Terrace are left wanting, although there is a welcome discussion of Akron Plan churches. Little mention is given alley enclaves, garages, carriage houses, street gas lamps, and influential subdivision patterns and town plans.

One theme this reader would have welcomed seeing further developed is the variety of building materials employed in Ohio architecture. Typesetting miscues and misspellings include 1922, not 922 (p. 27), Procter, not Proctor (p. 84), Ionic not “Ionian” columns (p. 234), Allan Noble not Nobel (p. 384), city view from Mt. Auburn, not Mt. Adams (p. 84), southeast rather than southwest (xiv), and Lake County Courthouse ca.1840, not 1852 (p. 167).

When the final tally is made the reviewer found two meticulously researched and corroborated texts that strike a balance between scholarship and automobile road guides. Ware uses sidebars as hiatuses, folksy pauses where readers can gather themselves. Personal glimpses of Ohio architects and preservationists, ranging from Cleveland’s Bob Gaede and Eric Johannesen to Urbana’s John Bry and Toledo’s “Mr. History,” Ted Ligibel, help breathe life into the text. Without these lighter digressions the book would suffocate readers in mind-numbing detail.

Through architecture the history of Ohio can and should be more widely shared with its citizens. Building Ohio is an important step in this direction as it sheds valuable new light on a long under-appreciated topic and state. Jane Ware unabashedly argues buildings are not just marketable commodities and material artifacts, but are precious community assets to be valued and preserved.

Stephen C. Gordon, Ohio Historical Society

The Collected Works of William Howard Taft, Volume III, Presidential Addresses & State Papers. Edited by David H. Burton. (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2002. xiii + 472p.; $59.95.)

The third volume in The Collected Works of William Howard Taft, an eight-volume edition published by Ohio University Press, offers scholars, students, and lay readers a collection of President Taft’s addresses and state papers from July 28, 1908, to February 23, 1910, near the end of his first year in the presidency. The first two volumes in the collection, addresses delivered between 1895 and 1908, offer an excellent introduction to Will Taft’s social, political, and economic thought. The third volume, edited by series general editor David H. Burton, reproduces Presidential Addresses and State Papers, originally published by Doubleday in 1910. The documents are introduced by Burton’s excellent commentary on Taft’s presidency.

Presidential Addresses and State Papers presents seventy-one documents covering an amazingly broad range of subjects. The reader will find both vintage Republican political rhetoric and Taft’s personal philosophy in these selections; no collection of the writings of the twenty-seventh president could avoid a heavy dose of his three principles of liberty, equal opportunity, and equal justice under the law. As editor Burton observes in his commentary, the state papers demonstrate not only how heavily President Taft embraced the reformism of his predecessor, but also how willing he was “to address virtually every part of the nation, thereby showing himself as no mere figurehead but a chief executive truly concerned about problems across the country” (p. 3).

Presidential Addresses and State Papers, like the earlier volumes in the collected works, is an important work for historians, particularly specialists of the presidency, to mine. Especially useful are documents relating to the fundamental political principles of the Republican party, Taft’s views on such controversial issues as the tariff, income taxes, the use of injunctions in labor disputes, “the Development of the [American] South,” and relations with the Latin American republics.

In addition, this volume demonstrates Taft’s desire to be seen as “the President of all the people” of the United States (p. 95). Addresses on the industrial education of African Americans in the New South, on tolerance presented at Pittsburgh’s Rodelph Shalom Temple, and on the progressive role of churches given at St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church in the nation’s capital, show the degree that Taft was willing to interact with Catholics, Jews, and blacks—three important minority groups.

Thus, the first three volumes of the Collected Works of William Howard Taft reveal much of Taft’s notions of social and cultural pluralism, especially his views on religious tolerance, race relations, and the importance he placed on the notion of “racial uplift” for African Americans in the South. Similarly, “The Philippine Islands,” remarks given at a 1910 banquet of the Military Order of the Carabaos, clearly reveals the significance Taft placed on the civilizing mission Republican administrations pursued in the nation’s new insular colonies. Earlier decisions to establish an empire beyond the North American continent, Taft declared, “have put us in a position forefront among the nations of the world; and I believe we have no right to neglect the opportunity to take such a position or the opportunity to use that position for the progress of civilization in the world” (p. 447).

Historians interested in the Progressive Era presidents, as well as those exploring the debates over race, empire, and civilization at the start of the last century, will find the first three volumes in this edition extremely useful. David H. Burton, his associate editors, and Ohio University Press have made an important contribution to scholarship with the publication of The Collected Works of William Howard Taft.

Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr., Kent State University


A History of Jonathan Alder: His Captivity and Life with the Indians. By Henry Clay Alder. Transcribed and with a foreword by Doyle H. Davison. Edited by Larry L. Nelson. (Akron, Ohio: The University of Akron Press, 2002. ix + 222p.; notes, bibliography, index. $34.95.)

Jonathan Alder (1773-1849), captured in Virginia in 1782, spent fifty years of his life with the Indians of Ohio. Gradually reintegrated into white society after the peace of Greenville (1795), Alder retained links with Indian friends until Shawnee removal in 1832, and his reminiscences spanned the momentous final years of aboriginal Ohio. The breadth of Alder’s experiences, with their emotional ties to different communities, precluded the racial stereotyping of many ‘captivity’ narratives. Without dodging the barbarities of border warfare (his account of the murders committed at the time of his capture is graphic), or the privations and cruelties of frontier life, Alder generally spoke well of the people who adopted and raised him. He was “very happy” as a white Indian (p. 51), with “kind and good” foster parents (p. 100), and won “the universal goodwill of all that knew me” (p. 92-93). A man of measured, balanced judgements, Alder was not easily influenced by popular report, as his unfashionable deƒense of Simon Girty demonstrates. His temperament, honesty, and experience are what make this account a particularly useful one.

Those who have wrestled with the several and scattered versions of Alder’s life will be grateful to Larry Nelson for his judicious approach to the question of provenance as well as his detailed and informative footnotes. As he says, the narrative “cannot strictly be considered a primary source” (p. 23). Alder’s original memoirs, sampled by Henry Howe for Historical Collections of Ohio (1847), were lost, and the principal version published here is that reconstituted in the 1850s by his son, Henry Clay Alder. Nelson also reprints subsequent gleanings of uncertain origin that complicated Alder’s literary legacy, but they are clearly differentiated from the core text.

Inaccuracies are invariably found in reminiscences produced long after the events they describe, but the Alder narrative is generally sound. Most of the people, places, events, and practices it describes can be documented elsewhere. There are useful accounts of the border wars and unrest between the Revolution and the War of 1812, including the Indian campaigns of 1794, and of the early white settlement of Ohio. Famous figures, such as Simon Kenton and Tecumseh, appear, and more valuably minor ones, among them such white captives and traders as Robert Armstrong and James McPherson who are scarcely noticed in most historical accounts.

The real value of this work is its portrait of Indian life in the Ohio country two centuries ago. Informed readers will find little new, but much that accords with other evidence. The book brims with valid ethnographic detail relating to economic activities, travel, spiritual beliefs, warfare, kinship, leisure and ceremonial life. The few references to tribal affiliation create one difficulty. There was a large cultural overlap among the tribes, and intermarriage and the many polyglot communities that united families of different tribes helped dilute distinct ways of life. For example, the green corn festival Alder witnessed on the Maumee River about 1789 pooled thousands of Indians from diverse villages (pp. 71-74). Nevertheless, significant differences existed and historians extrapolate about one people from the data on another at some peril. Alder was captured and adopted by Mingoes (Senecas and Cayugas) of the Mad River (p. 42), and members of his Indian family lived with the Mingoes and Wyandots of the Sandusky River (pp. 103, 121, 127) and the Mingoes and Shawnees at Lewistown (pp. 46, 49, 121). His observations on Indian culture, then, are primarily of interest to scholars of the Mingoes and Wyandots, both Iroquoian peoples, and the Shawnees. Distinguishing between them is not easy. Thus, while Alder’s feasts for the dead (pp. 95-97) were known among the Seneca, they appear in no descriptions of Shawnees before the twentieth century. It is unclear whether they were practised by the Shawnees of Alder’s time, or subsequently assimilated through Mingo neighbors.

Esoterism apart, Alder supplies valuable insights into the Indian world. For instance, his testimony that the deaths of children reinforced a “notion that the Great Spirit was opposed to the two races mingling together” (p. 120) suggests the logic that created the Shawnee Prophet. Alder’s is an account worth recovering, and here it is extremely well presented.

John Sugden, Cumbria, England


Peters & King: The Birth & Evolution of the Peters Cartridge Co. & the King Powder Co. By Thomas D. Schiffer. (lola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 2002. 255p.; illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $44.95.)

“Kings Island” is known today as a large óecreational facility; however, there are still remnants of the enterprises which made the site world famous in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: The King Great Western Powder Works and the allied Peters Cartridge Company. Joseph Warren King (1814-1895), a native of Suffield, Connecticut, entered the powder business in 1850 when he bought into the Austin Powder Mill located north of Xenia, Greene County, along the Little Miami River (known today as Goes Station). A few later buildings still stand at this site as well as in Xenia. In 1855 the Austin brothers sold the entire works to King who then formed the Miami Powder Company, also known as the Frontier Mill; King built a large house in Xenia known as the “Kingdom” which remained his home until his death. By 1877 Joseph and his nephew Ahimaaz King (1839-1909) decided to build a larger, modern, plant and chose a site in southwestern Warren County, soon to be known as Kings Mills. They incorporated in 1878 as King’s Great Western Powder Company with offices in Xenia and Cincinnati. (The Goes powder mill was closed in 1925; it was then owned by the Hercules Powder Company.)

Because of the demand for shotgun shells and metallic cartridges, the Peters Cartridge Company was organized in 1887, based on a cartridge-loading machine invented by Gershon Moore Peters (1843-1919). The buildings and the administrators of the two companies were closely allied and at times interchangeable. Of course, Peters cartridges and shotgun shells were loaded with King powder; a Peters brochure of 1906 states that over 20,000 variations of shotgun shells could be loaded and that 223 different metallic cartridges for rifle and pistol were being loaded. By this time King’s was manufacturing semi-smokeless and smokeless (nitro) gunpowders as well as black gunpowder. A separate plant for blasting powder was constructed near Wurtland, Kentucky, in 1919.

The Peters company was sold to Remington Arms Company in 1934, though cartridge production at Kings Mills continued through World War II. The King plant continued powder production until it finally closed in 1958. The King family sold land to the Taft Broadcasting Company in 1970 for the Kings Island amusement park (“Island” from the old Coney Island park on the Ohio River upstream from Cincinnati.) The Kings created “company-towns” at both Goes and Kings Mills and maintained a paternalistic relationship with the men and women who worked at the mills. This concern for the workers was probably engendered by the dangers of powder manufacturing; explosions and loss of life were not uncommon. However, the companies never seemed to have much difficulty in finding workers except during general labor shortages as occurred during the two world wars.

Mr. Schiffer’s book traces the history of the King and Peters companies through the memories, written and oral, of men and women associated with the firms (he began his work some thirty years ago) as well as company publications, advertisements, periodicals, and newspapers of the period. There are many individual portraits and photographs of the plant buildings and workers in the book. For collector interest, there are thirty-two color pages of advertising art, powder containers, and other ephemera, many items with market values suggested. Peters & King is an impressive general history of a now all-but-forgotten Ohio industry. (For an overview of the powder industry in the United States, Van Geldr and Schlatter, History of the Explosive Industry in America [Columbia University, 1927] is a classic work.)

Donald Hutslar, Ohio Historical Society


Making Sense of the City: Local Government, Civic Culture, and Community Life in Urban America. Edited by Robert B. Fairbanks and Patricia Mooney-Melvin. (Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University Press, 2001. xi + 192 p.; notes on contributors, index. $50.00.)

Making Sense of the City provides a fitting capstone to a notable career. In his thirty-five-year tenure as a professor of history at the University of Cincinnati, Zane Miller has been both an exemplary citizen and a remarkably productive scholar and teacher. In all three rolesÚ Robert Fairbanks and Patricia Mooney-Melvin suggest, Miller focused on the “basic cultural assumptions about city and society shared by all members of the population.” He eschewed social science, refused to overemphasize class, race, and gender, disavowed the use of “culture as an interpretive tool” (p. 3). He emphasized plain language, common sense, the giveness of events and past ideas, and respect for the expressed views of others in the past and in the present. In their gracious introduction to this volume, Fairbanks and Mooney-Melvin document Miller’s work as dissertation advisor and celebrate his creation, with long-time collaborator Henry D. Shapiro, of “symptomatic history” (p. 2). In an appreciative Postscript, Roger W. Lotchin places Miller’s work in the context of the many writings by alumni of Richard C. Wade’s fertile seminars at Rochester and Chicago in the 1960s, and celebrates Miller’s collaborations with Shapiro and Bruce Tucker. In the body of this book, eight of the seventeen scholars who earned their Ph.D.s under Miller offer essays that demonstrate his impact. The shared virtues of these essays include sharp focus, careful writing, and close attention to the ideas of historical actors.

Judith Spraul-Schmidt considers municipal charters in the 1840s and 1850s in an essay likely to influence future research. Evidence from Louisiana, New York, and Ohio, and from the Treatise on the Law of Municipal Corporations by Iowan John F. Dillon, she argues persuasively, shows that states acted to regulate the expansion of municipal services. The widely held view that states limited or forbade such activity in these years is simply wrong.

Three essays explore the exhortations that filled city magazines around 1900. Alan I. Marcus offers a generous tour of municipal government writings by John Fiske, Albert Shaw, Washington Gladden, Frank Goodnow, and other publicists, showing that their writings bore fruit in the “school city” movement. Fairbanks recalls little-known efforts to promote better citizenship through textbooks on local affairs for eighth-graders in Chicago and Dallas. Robert A. Burnham explicates writings on city government by Woodrow Wilson, Hazen Pingree, Frederic Howe, and others—including the intriguing Mary P. Follett.

Several of the essays show how thoughtful, incisive local history can identify “symptoms” of larger trends. In an essay on unfamiliar material close to home in Cincinnati, Mooney-Melvin shows that neighborhood associations have a history that is unexpectedly long, continuous and varied. Similarly, by raising tough-minded questions about race, gender, and fascist corporatism, Andrea Tuttle Kornbluh demonstrates the compelling significance of the history of public recreation.

Bradley D. Cross adds an account of Mariemount, one of Cincinnati’s privileged suburbs, that deserves fuller development. Sponsored by one of the city’s wealthiest women, designed by John Nolen, this small community adopted self-consciously archaic and Anglophile civic practices in the 1940s and 1950s, then reconceptualized itself more comfortably in the 1970s as an American garden-city suburb.

Charles F. Casey-Leininger’s unblinking exploration of racial discrimination in Cincinnati housing concludes the volume. Implacable resistance met advocates of integration right through the 1960s, he shows. The continuing frustration of African-American desire for “decent housing in the neighborhood of . . . choice,” he concludes, “can be expected to embitter middle-class and prosperous blacks and to corrode the will of [the] impoverished,” thus expanding “an alienated black underclass” (p. 170).

Altogether, Making Sense of the City serves as a fitting tribute to a historian who devoted his career to raising consciousness and improving public policy in Cincinnati.

David C. Hammack, Case Western Reserve University


James Monroe: Oberlin’s Christian Statesman & Reformer, 1821-1898. By Catherine M. Rokicky. (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2002. xiii + 250p.; illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $25.00.)

Numerous reform movements emerged over the course of the nineteenth century as Americans responded to the developments of modern society. In this biography, Catherine Rokicky, professor of history at Cuyahoga Community College, presents the story of the|reformer James Monroe, an interesting and important historical figure and a person well-liked and highly respected in life.

Rokicky chronicles, in detail, the public activities of Monroe’s long career from an abolitionist lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society and professor at Oberlin College to Ohio state senator, foreign diplomat to Rio de Janeiro, and United States congressman during Reconstruction. Interspersed throughout the narrative are stories that reveal the issues and concerns of his personal life. Throughout his life, she argues, Monroe was driven by a religious and humanitarian commitment to reform society, but also possessed a practical side to his idealism. This quality, Rokicky explains, at times caused him to “hedge his ideals for the present in hopes for more change in the future” (p. 42). Although involved in other issues, his primary concern was the civil rights of African Americans. This concern led Monroe to join the Republican Party, to actively oppose the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act within Ohio and to support the passage and enforcement of the Reconstruction amendments.

In his later years, as his opportunity for appointive office diminished, Monroe left politics and returned to Oberlin. There, Rokicky argues, he infused a new generation of Progressive reformers with a new mission. Monroe focused his attentions on the plight of organized labor and he charged his students “to take action in society for the common good as dictated through Christianity” (p. 186). In so doing, she believes he inspired the careers of former students John R. Commons, E. Dana Durand, and Guy S. Callender, and acted as a transitional reformer that “helped carve the road to the twentieth century” (p. 196).

A strong aspect of the work is the abundant information surrounding Monroe’s daily activities as a governmental official, which provides some interesting insight into the nineteenth-century system of political patronage. Culled from the many manuscript collections consulted, Rokicky provides the reader with a sense of the pressures placed on Monroe by constituents and his trying experiences in seeking diplomatic offices to alleviate his financial concerns. Equally strong is Rokicky’s balanced assessment of Monroe as a reformer. She identifies the pragmatism that caused him to acquiesce to party loyalty over his moral vision. The author also exposes his hypocrisy for benefiting from slave labor while a diplomat in Brazil, his racist aversion to interracial marriage, and his assumptions of gender that prevented him from truly supporting women’s reform issues. However, these brief episodes are treated as if they were outside of the normal course of his life. A deeper exploration of these characteristics would have possibly ameliorated an important fault in the work.

The analysis does not place Monroe’s activities in a solid context. There is little discussion of his position within the spectrum of nineteenth century reform or even among the factions of the Republican Party that existed over the issue of African American civil rights during Reconstruction. Also, the author claims Monroe was a Christian statesman, but aside from stirring the initial reformist impulse as a young man, the work does not provide an explanation of how his religious beliefs influenced his choice of reform efforts or his vision of a just society.

Catherine Rokicky offers the reader a well-researched record of the life of a powerful and important nineteenth-century politician and reformer. However, she misses an opportunity to delve into the nature and limitations of nineteenth-century reform.

Peter S. Genovese, Bowling Green State University


On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren” By Donald B. Kraybill and Carl F. Bowman. (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. xvi + 330p.; illustrations, notes, selected references, index. $55.00 cloth, $16.95 paper.)

Just about everyone knows about the Amish. Their simple dress, horse-drawn transportation, and no-wires-attached, austere lifestyle have become familiar not only to Americans, but to the whole world, through Hollywood movies such as Witness and enthusiastic tourist bureaus in the states in which the Amish live. But several other lesser-known religious groups are often mistaken for the Amish because, in many respects, they are very similar to them. However, these people have entirely separate identities and histories. The Amish and three other groups of “Plain People” are described in On the Backroad to Heaven by two very qualified authors. This never-before-done comparison demonstrates in very readable detail how the groups are alike and how they differ.

The four groups are: the Old Order Amish, the Old Order Mennonites, the Old German Baptist Brethren, and the Hutterian Brethren. (These are referred to simply as Amish, Mennonites, Brethren and Hutterites for brevity’s sake.) Of special interest to Ohioans is the fact that three of the groups are not only found in the Buckeye State, but the largest populations of Old Order Amish and Old German Baptist Brethren in the whole country, or for that matter the world, are found in Ohio. There are also a small number of Old Order Mennonites in Ohio, but no Hutterites.

Chapter one gives an overview of the four groups including historical background, common misconceptions about them, and their worldviews. The next four chapters treat each of the four groups separately. Chapter six explains the common conviction held by all the groups while chapter seven, “Four Roads to Heaven,” tells of the differences.

To summarize, the Amish began in 1693 as an offshoot from the Mennonites who had in turn originated in 1525 with the Anabaptist movement in Switzerland. The Hutterites are a communal group descended from Swiss Anabaptists who migrated to eastern Europe. They now live in hundreds of colonies in the western United States and Canada. The Old Order Mennonites broke with the main body of American Mennonites in the late 1800s in order to preserve traditional beliefs and practices. The Old German Baptist Brethren trace back to the Brethren movement which started in 1708 among German Pietists. The Brethren had a three-way division in 1881 with the Old German Baptist Brethren forming the most traditional wing.

Chapter eight theorizes on the qualities that have helped these groups survive. These characteristics include a heritage of faithfulness in the face of persecution and outward symbols which separate them from the larger society. The issues of separationüfrom the world are somewhat different in each of the groups. For the Hutterites, community of goods is the dividing line, not technology. The Amish and Old Order Mennonites live on individual homesteads, but horse-drawn transportation is a major distinguishing characteristic. Like the other three groups, the Brethren distinguish themselves with plain clothing, simple worship, and prohibition of television. Chapter nine concludes with the seeming ironies that have developed among the plain people who live in the world but try not to be of it.

The book is enhanced by numerous maps, tables, charts, and photographs, and a thirteen-page bibliography. The material on the Amish and Hutterites in Backroad is excellent, ranking with the best of the sizeable amount of literature that is available on both groups. Kraybill and Bowman have provided more information on the Old Order Mennonites and Old German Baptist Brethren than one will find almost anywhere else. This book is recommended not only as an introduction to the four groups, but also as a fairly comprehensive guide to their beliefs and practices.

Stephen Scott, Elizabethtown College


Appalachia: A History. By John Alexander Williams. (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. xviii + 478p.; illustrations, tables, maps, notes, bibliography, index. $49.95 cloth; $19.95 paper.)

For the longest time, a well-researched, well-written, and well-reasoned book on Appalachian history seemed almost an oxymoron. For decades, much of the writing on the region appeared to come from the pens of those who presented preconceived stereotypes, based on scanty research, and with little regard for the tools of history. They might craft readable accounts, but ones that explained little and confused more.

Over the last several decades that has all changed. Now a wealth of scholarly studies has gone behind that falsely created facade and has presented path-breaking and fresh explanations of the place and its people. Culminating that wave of new work are two recent general histories—Richard B. Drake’s A History of Appalachia (2001) and this work under review, written by Professor Williams of Appalachian State University. Both books have strengths and weaknesses, but both show that, at last, Appalachian history has been given its deserved study.

In five long chapters, Williams takes the reader through the many aspects of the region’s past—the displacement of Indians from the region (about one-fifth of the text), the geology, the flora and fauna, the resettlement of different groups at various times, the contained integration of parts of the area into the antebellum market economy, the Civil War’s effects, especially from vicious guerilla warfare in the mountains, and more. He tells the changing postwar story of population growth, isolation, and scarcity in some locales, moonshining, feuds, the timber industry’s depletion of Appalachian forests, and the “discovery” of the region by writers and their eventual crafting of a stereotype of either “demonic hillbillies” (as in Deliverance or comic characters (as in Li’l Abner). The twentieth century history includes railroads’ transformation of rural life, economic colonialism, settlement schools, the craft revival movement, “King Coal” and company towns, unionization, outmigration to places such as Akron, Dayton, and Cincinnati, a second “discovery” in the 1960s War on Poverty, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the lack of defense bases in the region, the “back-to-the-land” movement, and more. Williams finds that Appalachia still remains “a real place and a territory of imagination” (p. 398).

How well has the author told his story? Williams’s strength is that he obviously knows the subject and the writing on the region very well, and makes informed, judicious conclusions based on that. Generally, his insights and interpretations should be well accepted. Yet at the same time, those areas turn out to be less of a strength than they could, or should, have been. His bibliography, for instance, appears rather eclectic in some ways. In comparing his book and article list with what I consider sixty fairly standard books on Appalachia in my own library, half of those books did not appear in his eighteen-page bibliography. Almost no general state histories are cited, but most surprising is the fact the he lists no article from any of the excellent state history journals (and they include many relevant studies). Underrepresented authors include such names as Inscoe, Wolfe, and McKinney (who is quoted on the back of the book but whose book on mountain Republicans does not appear in the bibliography). A more inclusive listing might be in order in the next edition.

In the area of writing, interested readers will find no problems. For a general history, however, the work is not particularly easy reading in some places. On balance it contains a great deal of detail on some issues, such as railroads and defense bases, and surprisingly little on subjects such as literature, social life, sports, post-Civil War politics, military aspects of the Civil War, and others. Part of that may result from a dilemma Williams and other students of Appalachia face. The ARC definition of the region includes a vast range of 406 counties from New York to Mississippi. Few others consider the people in many of those places Appalachians. Inclusion of them in the story spreads any author very thin in coverage and makes generalizations difficult. Focusing back and forth on that ARC Appalachia and a more central core of 164 counties often makes the history harder to tell.

However, make no mistake—this is an excellent book. Writing the history of Appalachia is an extremely difficult undertaking, not for the fainthearted or historically weak. Williams has peeled away the layers of legends, myths, and stereotypes to reveal much of the heart of the region and its people. It deserves no less.

James C. Klotter, Georgetown College


James Burnham and the Struggle for the World: A Life. By Daniel Kelly. (Wilmington, Del.: ISI Books, 2002. xi + 443p.; notes, index. $29.95.)

During the 1950s, American conservatism underwent a radical shift. Until then many within its fold were staunch anti-interventionists, opposing the foreign policies of Franklin D., Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower on the grounds that commitments overseas would lead to ruin at home. Budgetary pressures alone, in their eyes, would make the needed allocations impossible. Moreover, participation in any “hot war” would destroy the nation’s economy, thereby granting international communism the victory it had long sought. Hence Marshall Plan aid was simply “throwing money down a rat hole” while the Korean conflict was “Mr. Truman’s war.”

By the early 1960s, conservatism had undergone a sea change. Its titular leader was no longer the laconic anti-interventionist senator from Ohio, Robert A. Taft, but the far more flamboyant and confrontational Barry Goldwater of Arizona. Such “isolationist” journals as Human Events (an eight-page newsletter when edited by Felix Morley) and Frank Chodorov’s monthly analysis (the lower case is itself showing the editor’s marked individualism) gave way to National Review, which called for a veritable crusade against communism, abroad as well as at home. Founded in 1955, National Review mmediately downplayed such members of the “Old Right” as Chodorov, John T. Flynn, and Garet Garrett to feature the more militant Willi Schlamm, Frank Meyer, and in particular James Burnham.

Daniel Kelly, long a historian at York College of the City University of New York, has contributed an excellent biography of Burnham, the person most influential in bringing about this ideological shift. Kelly has combed the Burnham papers at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and has examined other manuscripts as well. The result? A book as balanced as it is well written, its deft and subtle portrait showing a scholar at home in the nuances of intellectual history. Particularly fascinating is the “insider” picture Kelly gives of the American Trotskyist movement, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and the palace intrigue within the staff of William Buckley’s weekly.

Burnham was not simply another embittered radical-turned-proto-McCarthyite. As Kelly shows, he was an academic blueblood (Canterbury School, Princeton, Oxford) who chaired the philosophy department at New York University and whose first book was titled An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis (1931). Although in the 1930s he had been a passionate Trotskyist who personally knew the master, his next two books, The Managerial Revolution (1941) and The Machievellians (1943), were remarkably free of Marxist cant. During the 1950s, as an operative for the Central Intelligence Agency, he was close to Arthur Koestler and André Malreaux. Never a cultural philistine, he appreciated Franz Kafka and Pablo Picasso. He could even exhibit a bit of “deviationism,” as when he kept touting Nelson Rockefeller for president and endorsed Richard Nixon’s resignation in the wake of Watergate. Burnham was one conservative who had good words for Medicare, Franz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth (1961), and the 1969 hippie gathering at Woodstock, New York.

For the most part, however, James Burnham spent the last three decades of his life as an unmitigated Cold Warrior. Not for nothing did his National Review column carry the heading “The Third World War” or “The Protracted Conflict.” As with many ideologues, he often lacked balance and perspective and could therefore appear most foolish. In 1940 he claimed that the current presidential election might be the last the United States would ever hold. In 1951 he asserted that the Communists would not have captured China had it not been for the left-wing Institute of Pacific Relations. In 1956 he wanted America to wage war against the Soviets if they did not leave the rebellious nations of Poland and Hungary.

Errors are minor. “Peter Palmer” of Reader’s Digest is really Paul Palmer. This reviewer’s 1979 book bears the title Not to the Swift. It is William Henry “Chamberlin” not “Chamberlain.” Burnham might be an “Augustinian” in his possessing a sense of “the world’s incurable imperfection” (p. 205), but one would hesitate to push the label further.

All in all, however, Kelly has written a book essential to our understanding of modern American conservatism.

Justus D. Doenecke, New College of Florida


Strikebreaking & Intimidation: Mercenaries and Masculinity in Twentieth-Century America. By Stephen H. Norwood. (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. xii + 328 p.; illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $59.95 cloth; $19.95 paper.)

Focusing on the first four decades of the twentieth century, Stephen Norwood’s book “focuses on corporate use of mercenaries, often organized as a private armed force, to disrupt union organizing and to break strikes, a phenomenon unique to the United States among the advanced industrial nations” (p. 12). The extent of violence, mayhem, and deceit compiled in this volume delivers a walloping blow to the notion that America in this period was a remotely civilized nation, and it also serves as a staggering reminder of the immense obstacles that workers faced when attempting to organize.

Norwood’s main focus is on strikebreaking from the top down—companies’ efforts to break organizing efforts and strikes, and the rise of companies that provided strikebreaking services. Norwood argues that by the early 1900s “corporations’ use of labor spies to prevent union organizing was widespread, and the supplying of strikebreakers and armed guards, often transported over vast distances, had emerged as a highly profitable business in the United States” (p. 2).

Organized topically, the book begins with a discussion of the pre-Depression anti-labor activities of college students, “a major, and often critically important, source of strikebreakers in a wide range of industries and services.” At a time when “even süudents at state universities tended to be relatively affluent,” Norwood argues, most of them “identified with the privileged in their struggle against the working class” (p. 16). Moreover, strikebreaking offered students an opportunity to prove their manliness, “by exposing [them] to severe danger and providing [them] with the opportunity to fight” (p. 21).

Streetcar strikes were among the most violent and widespread conflicts before 1920. In these cases, however, strikebreakers were often quite vulnerable, because they “could not be protected in a confined area” (p. 36). Instead, they had to “run the gauntlet” of angry strikers and townspeople, who often despised what they saw as the gouging, corrupt transport companies. Market demand for strikebreakers in streetcar strikes prompted the creation of lucrative scab-supplying companies. James Farley led the way, claiming some fifty victories on his resumé.

Throughout the book, Norwood argues that “the culture of strikebreaking had at its core a defiant, highly aggressive masculinity” (p. 12). The effectiveness of this theme, however, is uneven. For example, Norwood argues convincingly that middle-class male college students craved the physical dangers of strikebreaking. Likewise, in his chapter on streetcar strikes Norwood suggests that for the middle class, strikebreaking “provided the best opportunity for the conspicuous display of the more primitive and virile behavior that society increasingly valued in men because if its anxiety about ‘overcivilization’ and overrefinement.’” But the actual strikebreakers in these conflicts, Norwood notes, “came from the slums of the eastern cities.” It seems doubtful that these men were anxious about their “overrefinement.” And one wonders about the long-term appeal of this kind of “aggressive masculinity” when, as Norwood explains, strikebreakers were “crammed into the barns by the hundreds, sleeping on cots only inches apart” and were “served spoiled and inedible food” (pp. 59-60).

Norwood has written a fascinating and complex account of the use of blacks as strikebreakers. While prominent African American writers disagreed about the merits of strikebreaking, the hostility of white unions even in times of labor peace offered little reason for blacks to respect picket lines. Norwood’s theme of the significance of assertive masculinity makes sense when he describes “the sudden appearance in Chicago of hundreds of African American strikebreakers armed with Winchester rifles, aggressively confronting the crowds of white strike sympathizers in the streets” (pp. 100-101). But he carries the analysis a bit too far when he asserts that “strikebreaking provided the black man his best opportunity to assume a tough, combative posture in public and to display courage while risking serious physical injury or even death” (p. 80). Surely, any black man could display courage and risk death in an instant, especially in the South, without strikebreaking.

After describing a series of extremely violent conflicts in mining communities across the country—from West Virginia to Colorado and from Michigan to Arkansas—Norwood’s final two chapters explore anti-union activity first at the Ford Motor Company, and then at Chrysler and General Motors. Perhaps the most absurd example of automotive anti-labor activity comes from a GM stamping plant in Lansing, where management fired suspected union sympathizers until “all that was left of the local were seven members, all officers.” A Congressional committee discovered that all were spies, but that “each was unaware that any of the others were engaged in labor espionage because they were all working for a different detective agency” (p. 3). The bulk of Norwood’s evidence comes from the period after the Wagner Act, revealing the automakers’ persistent and massive violations of federal law.

Norwood’s Epilogue traces the development of a kinder, gentler, more legalistic, but nonetheless effective form of anti-union activity in the post-WWII years. It might have been useful as well for Norwood to reflect more on what his wide-ranging research tells us about labor history prior to WWII. Nevertheless, this is a very important, well-written book that provides a new angle of vision on labor’s struggles in the twentieth century.

Daniel Clark, Oakland University



Days of Discontent: American Women and Right-Wing Politics, 1933-1945. By June Melby Benowitz. (DeKalb, Ill.: Northern Illinois University Press, 2002. 230p.; illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $40.00.)

June Melby Benowitz, author of Days of Discontent: American Women and Right-Wing Politics, 1933-1945, aptly examines women’s emergence into the political world and how their different experiences influenced their political alignments. Benowitz focuses her study on four major points: a general survey of the mobilization of women; how ordinary American women’s personal backgrounds and individual experiences throughout the Great Depression and World War II connected to the far right political agenda; how political leaders capitalized on women’s fear and used this to boost membership rosters; and how later generations built upon the experiences of the female pioneers of the far right.

An important asset to Benowitz’s research is the generalization of how women began to work in the political field and the outlets utilized by significant leaders to recruit more supporters. By the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries women began to form clubs, organizations, or political alliances with the aid of urbanization and the Chautauqua movement.

Although women struggled for full acceptance, they entered the political arena through the back door. The issues embraced by these early groups—child labor, education, and health care, for example—focused on the traditional roles of women as nurturers, protectors of the family, and moral guardians of society. Leaders of women’s clubs utilized grass-root methods, such as magazines, newsletters, and public speeches, to recruit members. A key tactic was to focus on one issue and to personalize it because each woman based her opinion about the world around her own individual experiences and dreams, and those that had the greatest importance influenced where each woman landed on the political spectrum.

Throughout the book, the reader finds various snippets of personal stories about the lives of right-wing female leaders and how personal experiences influenced their political alignment. To further strengthen the impact of the book, the author compares the various women and discusses their relationships with each other and other political leaders. One insightful example is the chapter on Elizabeth Dilling. Benowitz discusses Dilling’s upbringing, religion, and personal life. Dilling’s anti-Semitism, resulting in her fear that Jews would wipe out Christianity and rule the world, was grounded in her religious beliefs. To support her arguments, she gave audiences the Biblical rationale that Jews were the crucifiers of Christ. However, Grace Wick’s hatred for Jews stemmed from being evicted from her apartment by a Jewish landlord.

The Great Depression and World War II brought about rapid social, economic, and political change. The activists aligned with the right sought to stop these changes. They worked to uphold white Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance, the nuclear family, laissez-faire economics, and isolationism because they could see these issues slipping away to the ruin of American society. With the advent of World War II, women on the far right quieted their voices to elude FBI investigations and pushed forward the peace movement. As mothers, they needed to protect their family, especially husbands and sons, from the horrors of war. During the 1950s and the overall conservative movement, the far right gained a large audience, especially in support of their anticommunist stance. However with the decline of McCarthyism, right-wing women once again placed greater emphasis on the traditional roles of women within the family and home. Throughout the decades, as the issues and leaders changed, the methods of persuasion to join the ranks affiliated with the right and the personal touches did not.

One concern is the wavering throughout the book between women’s place within the public and domestic spheres. The author gives the impression that women had moved into the public sphere, particularly with the statement “. . . but also moved into the political sphere” (p. 133) when discussing right-wing women lobbying for their causes and campaigning for the candidate that they supported. However, Benowitz frequently states that right-wing women’s viewpoints were grounded in the traditional roles of women within the family. “In this regard, the women leaders of the far right, like their more centrist and progressive counterparts, helped to broaden women’s sphere, stretching it from the home to the world of politics and beyond” (p. 135).

The key word here is broaden. The two spheres of influence were not as distinctly separated for women as they were for men. A man could exist apart from his role as husband and father while, publicly, a woman could not exist outside of her role as wife and mother. The issues within the right-wing movement reflect this in that many dealt within the boundaries of women as nurturers and the moral guardians of society.

Overall, Benowitz’s work is excellent. It is evident that she carefully and completely researched her topic. It is succinctly placed within two historical avenues: women and politics. The work illustrates women’s emergence into politics. It carefully outlines one facet of this struggle, chronologically, through examples of right-wing female leaders, and through comparisons between political leaders, both male and female, and differing political views. June Melby Benowitz’s straightforward writing style gracefully explains a complicated topic.

Janet Kennedy, Wood County Historical Society

Jefferson Davis, Confederate President. By Herman Hattaway and Richard E. Beringer. (Lawrence, Kans.: University Press of Kansas, 2002. xix + 542p.; maps, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $39.95.)

A great deal has been written about the commander-in-chief of the Confederate States of America. Over the past fifteen years alone three major biographies, with varying degrees of success, have examined the life and times of Jefferson Davis. These and other studies have attempted to investigate every aspect of the man. This apparent bounty for the individual wishing to learn about Davis begs the question whether yet another monograph on the subject, in this case Herman Hattaway and Richard Beringer’s Jefferson Davis, Confederate President, is needed?

The answer is a resounding yes. Hattaway and Beringer have written the first full-length study of Jefferson Davis’s presidency that offers a detailed analysis of his Civil War career and how he profoundly shaped the Confederacy. The final result is an even-handed, often insightful work that places Davis successfully in the historical context of nineteenth-century American politics.

Hattaway and Beringer’s treatment of Davis’s formative years and early political career is standard. Born in Kentucky in 1808, Davis’s family moved to the Mississippi Territory by 1810 where he seemed to enjoy a relatively happy childhood. After several years of formal education, Davis secured an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he earned mediocre marks and made several life-long friends. After graduation Davis served for a time in the army where he established a reputation as a fine officer. While stationed in the West, Davis met and eventually married Sarah Knox Taylor, the daughter of his commanding officer and future president Zachary Taylor. In a devastating blow to Davis, his young bride died shortly after he resigned from the military and married her in 1835. Davis recovered, became a successful planter, married Varina Banks Howell, and achieved great political success as a senator and secretary of war. As the authors make clear, the manner in which the senator and southern nationalist from Mississippi carried himself earned him great respect from most who knew him, even those who disagreed with his political views.

Hattaway and Beringer’s analysis of Davis’s ascension to the presidency of the Confederacy during the secession crisis and his attempts to establish its independence synthesizes a wealth of historical sources in a judicious manner. The temperament of the man and the numerous obstacles he confronted as president become apparent. The authors describe how a proud, sometimes excessively formal Davis formed an administration while simultaneously directing military policies against the North. Davis’s constitutional principles, military philosophy, and relationships with Confederate political and military leaders are examined with impressive sophistication. Borrowing the methodical framework of political scientist James David Barber, the authors conclude that Jefferson Davis was an “active-negative” president, someone who pursued an active, even “compulsive,” political life yet found little “emotional reward” in his work. A perfectionist, Davis is shown to be a man more committed to the southern cause, as he defined it, than most other Confederate leaders. This circumstance, according to Hattaway and Beringer, left an indelible mark upon Davis and his family over the course of the war.

In Jefferson Davis, Confederate President Herman Hattaway and Richard E. Beringer have produced an exhaustive study of an “American president” as well as a sweeping history of the political, financial, and military plight of the Confederacy. While at times their intellectual debt to Davis scholars William Cooper and William Davis obscures their own thesis, particularly their “active-negative” interpretation of the Confederate leader, Hattaway and Beringer have written a book that will interest Civil War buffs as well challenge the assumptions of some Civil War historians.

Frank Byrne, State University of New York-Oswego

The Underground Railroad in Floyd County, Indiana. By Pamela R. Peters. (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., Inc., 2001. 218p.; illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $42.50 paper.)

Few topics are as emotionally charged as a local history of the Underground Railroad. It takes a courageous author to undertake such a work. Pamela Peters’s book covers even more than her title indicates. It is a good example of local history that attempts to distinguish fact from regional and family legend and to place the subject in its historical setting.

The study centers on New Albany, the county seat of Floyd County, Indiana, located across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. From its early days, New Albany had a small African American population, though its members faced economic and social discrimination. Traditional prejudice, combined with economic ties to Kentucky and other southern states, contributed to a general acceptance of slavery and a strong dislike of abolitionism. Such views were reflected in the town’s most influential newspaper, the New Albany Daily Ledger.

Although Floyd County had no organized antislavery society, some individuals opposed and at times spoke out against slavery. The Methodist and Presbyterian churches occasionally hosted visiting pastors who delivered strong antislavery sermons. The African American community included a number of individuals who openly opposed slavery and provided aid to fugitive slaves. The book includes biographical sketches of several of those activists and emphasizes their importance, as well as that of the fugitives whose self-help plans effected their escapes. Despite the harsh federal Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and a state law of 1851 that made it illegal for African Americans to enter Indiana, such immigration did occur, while courts recognized the validity of freedom papers issued in southern states.

To tell this complex story, Peters dug diligently in such sources as court records, newspapers, and oral history accounts by descendants of the African American and white communities. She found a gold mine of information in hitherto unused freedom and manumission papers which legally certified the freedom of former slaves. She clearly identifies rumor and undocumented oral accounts, and discredits the widespread stories of tunnels as hiding places.

The author has enhanced the narrative with a number of photographs and five appendixes, including an antislavery memorial of 1840, a list of Floyd County African American heads of households in 1830, plus freedom papers, bills of sale, and manumission deeds. In a concluding chapter she lists the more common myths concerning the Underground Railroad and adds her own comments about them.

With the end of American slavery following the Civil War, moral clarity concerning the institution changed drastically, especially in the northern states. Institutional and individual racism, however, lingered on, as Peters documents so well. That change in attitudes, along with the passing of generations, makes writing a complete history of the fugitive slave question problematic. Pamela Peters has done an excellent job, and her work should inspire others to tell for their own communities that part of the story that is salvageable.

Larry Gara, Wilmington College

Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26-June 3, 1864. By Gordon C. Rhea. (Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 2002. xviii + 532p.; illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95.)

The Battle of Cold Harbor has received a lot of attention lately. With new biographies of Ulysses S. Grant appearing periodically and Ernest B. Furgurson’s Not War But Murder: Cold Harbor 1864 coming out in 2000, factual knowledge of the battle is more complete that ever before. Now, we have perhaps the final word for a long time in Gordon Rhea’s Cold Harbor. Part of a five volume study of the Overland Campaign fought between Grant and Robert E. Lee in 1864, this fourth volume covers events from the late May confrontations on the North Anna River to the final assaults at Cold Harbor on June 3. Rhea’s earlier books on the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and the maneuvering to the North Anna River set an elaborate stage for this major confrontation.

Rhea has written a fast-paced, exciting narrative that covers the events in detail. In the vein of his earlier writings, Rhea continues the detailed analysis of troop movements and sequencing. He places units on the field at regimental and battalion levels, but is not afraid to say when the sources are just not clear enough to make a correct judgment. While entirely well written, some passages such as Emory Upton’s attack on June 1 and Baldy Smith’s attack on June 3 come across with heightened drama and suspense, leaving the reader excitedly waiting to find out what happened next.

Rhea’s book is not just factual information, however. In highly analytical text, Rhea takes a critical look at leadership in the campaign and finds that commanders on both sides performed poorly. Robert E. Lee left several openings for the Federals to exploit, Rhea argues, but worse ineffectiveness on the Northern side let the advantage slip away. Rhea does qualify his criticism of Lee because of the general’s sickness. The Federal commanders receive no such courtesy, however. Leaders from Grant and George Meade all the way down to division and even brigade commanders receive poor marks from Rhea. Lack of cooperation, clear command authority, and trust, coupled with overconfidence, destroyed the Federals’ fighting ability. Ironically, however, Rhea supports Grant’s decision to assault on June 3, a decision the general has been roundly criticized for since the war. In the big picture, Rhea argues that this Confederate victory, costly in terms of men, ultimately quickened the end of the Confederacy.

Cold Harbor also shatters many myths that have stood since the battle. Because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence, Rhea disputes the account that Union soldiers, sure of death, wrote their names on paper and pinned them to their shirts. Likewise, the evidence shows no refusal by Union soldiers to make the attack. Most importantly, Rhea questions the 7,000 casualties in an hour, arguing that Federal casualties were no more than 3,000 in the main assault.

8hea’s battle narrative, analysis, and conclusions make Cold Harbor a first-rate book with few if any negative features. Some casual readers may find the text too detailed in terms of regiments and movements, but enthusiasts will love it. Some purists will question Rhea’s habit of giving away his story before he covers it, but others will certainly thrive on its drama. Some readers might even question the author’s slant due to the fact that the Federal movements receive much more coverage than do the Confederates’, but those who consider that the Federals probably left more documents and were more often on the offensive and thus had more to detail will be satisfied. The result, then, is a first-rate history of one of the most important and most misunderstood battles of the war. Surely, after Cold Harbor, there will be much less misunderstanding about this important clash.

Timothy B. Smith, Shiloh National Military Park

The Union Divided: Party Conflict in the Civil War North. By Mark E. Neely, Jr. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002. xi + 257p.; notes, index. $24.95.)

Modern historians have long argued that the two-party system which prevailed throughout the North during the Civil War years was a source of strength aiding and abetting the eventual Union victory. Correspondingly, they have suggested that the lack of such a system within the Confederacy weakened the Southern war effort, accelerated internal division there, and contributed significantly to the Rebel defeat. Prominent Civil War historian Mark E. Neely, Jr., takes issue with such an interpretation and offers convincing proof that the concept, as applied to the North, has significant weaknesses and needs to be thoroughly restudied. Others have already begun to question the prevailing negative view of Jefferson Davis’s government. Neely’s book, The Union Divided: Party Conflict in the Civil War North, is intended to be tentative and suggestive, designed more to open discussion and study of the question, but it is nonetheless a highly convincing challenge to the way historians look at Civil War politics in the Union states.

The author, a Pulitzer-prize winning biographer of Abraham Lincoln and student of civil liberties during the war, treats his subject chronologically and begins by arguing that the calls of both Democrats and Republicans in the North for non-partisanship during the fighting prevailed only until the elections of 1862 when bitter political battles of prewar intensity were renewed over control of Congress and state government. But the nature of the struggle had little resemblance to text-book versions of an effective two-party system. Instead, dominant Republicans effectively labeled the minority as a party of treason whenever and wherever Democrats threatened to regain control, as in Indiana and Illinois. They successfully pictured their opponents as Confederate allies rather than as a loyal opposition. They were aided by a blatantly partisan press which reinforced their view of Democrats as traitors and especially with their invective against Democrat George B. McClellan. His efforts to strategize rather than directly engage the enemy was the primary cause of Union military failures according to Republican editors and politicians alike.

Several other factors, according to Neely, rendered Democrats almost powerless and prevented the two-party system from helping the Northern war effort. The Constitution itself created a system of government which made the President virtually unchallengeable as commander-in-chief. Under a parliamentary system, Lincoln would likely have fallen from office after Bull Run in July 1861, or at the latest, following McClellan’s defeat in the Peninsula campaign in June, 1862. Instead, Democrats could not directly challenge him until the fall of 1864 when their own ineptitude and the changing military scene assured Lincoln a resounding victory over their candidate, McClellan. Rather than a functioning two-party system, the Union had one-party dominance. At the same time, stubborn Confederate resistance hardened Union resolve and support for the war, pushing the dominant party to a more radical stance and one which brought out an antislavery idealism not so evident in 1861. This was despite a firm Democratic resolve to oppose emancipation and any push for racial equality.

Neely has combined newspaper and manuscript correspondence to show the ineffectiveness of the two-party system. Marshaling his thorough understanding of twentieth-century Civil War historiography, he convincingly challenges the views of such prominent historians as David Potter, Eric McKitrick, James McPherson, Phillip Paludan, and Michael Holt, all of whom have defended the two-party system’s positive role in promoting the eventual Union victory. One wishes that Neely had devoted additional attention to the Union party, so strong in the Midwest in combining War Democrats and Republicans to prevent the opposition from becoming a more vibrant party. This conceivably might have strengthened his argument even further. Nonetheless, Neely has effectively challenged the prevailing view of Northern two-party politics and has introduced an interpretation which historians must reckon with in the years ahead.

Frederick J. Blue, Youngstown State University


Company “A” Corps of Engineers, U.S.A., 1846-1848, in the Mexican War. By Gustavus Woodson Smith. Edited by Leonne M. Hudson. (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2001. xix + 96p.; illustrations, maps, appendixes, notes, bibliography, index. $14.50 paper.)

While monographs, memoirs, diaries, and letters of Civil War soldiers fill the pages of many publishers’ catalogs, the Mexican War soldier’s experience has been ignored by historians and the public in general. Leonne M. Hudson’s editing of Gustavus Woodson Smith’s account of his Mexican War experience as a commander of a company of engineers will reduce that disparity.

Gustavus W. Smith’s account of his Mexican War experience was first published in 1896, and as Hudson’s modern editing of the work amply ;llustrates, Smith had superior ability as a writer. Smith mixed an engineer’s eye for detail with a soldier’s anecdotal memory of his compatriots and his years in Mexico. This results in a useful concise account of the role of the engineers in the Mexican War.

Shortly after the declaration of war against Mexico, Congress created a one-hundred-man engineer company as a part of the regular army. Captain Alexander Swift was selected to command the company. A superior officer, Swift took care of the recruiting and provision for the company and left training of the troops to his lieutenants Gustavus W. Smith and George B. McClellan. Due to his earlier graduation from West Point, Swift lacked familiarity with the most recent infantry drill maneuvers and thus the junior officer assumed that traditional command role. Unfortunately, Swift became ill with dysentery and died shortly after the capture of Veracruz. Smith, a Kentucky native, assumed command of the company for the duration of the war. All three officers had a fine working relationship and the respect with which Smith held his colleagues comes through fifty years later as he penned this account. Ironically, neither Smith nor McClellan particularly distinguished himself as a battlefield commander in the Civil War. Smith was involved in the smelting industry after the Civil War and supplemented his income by writing. McClellan also became involved in business after the Civil War and dabbled in politics.

The engineer company saw a great deal of action during the war, participating in the capture of Veracruz and the Battle of Cerro Gordo. Later, it served in the bloody battles of Contreras, Churubusco, and Chapultepec. The company performed very efficient service in the areas of reconnaissance, preparation of artillery batteries, and as a frontline combat unit.

Smith’s study adds relatively little to what has been known by historians about the distinguished service of the engineers in the Mexican War. However, Smith does add a great deal to our knowledge of the life of the engineers. Anecdotal accounts of the soldier’s war experience and tidbits of information about junior officers destined for greater things in a coming greater war make this study a delight to read. Leonne Hudson has done an admirable job as editor. The text includes appropriate maps, illustrations, and superb endnotes. In addition, Hudson has provided readers with a good concise overview of the company. The author has also included an appendix that lists promotions in the company.

The elderly engineer had a phenomenal memory and was quite accurate in recounting events. Unlike many nineteenth-century writers, Smith was direct and economical in his wording. Company “A” is a jewel about the services of a very significant small unit in a neglected war. Students of the Mexican War will applaud the return of this work and commend Leonne Hudson for the fine editorial work. Both the general reader and the specialist will enjoy this study.

Damon R. Eubank, Campbellsville University

Serving Two Masters: The Development of American Military Chaplaincy, 1860-1920. By Richard M. Budd. (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 2002. xii + 191p.; illustrations,.notes, bibliographical essay, index. $50.00.)

As both ordained clergy and commissioned military officers, chaplains in the United States military must serve both God and country. These demands, as Budd’s study demonstrates, have historically proven difficult to reconcile. An expansion of the author’s Ph.D. dissertation from Ohio State University, this short book is primarily a history of the professional and bureaucratic development of this heretofore understudied and often underappreciated group. Budd, himself a former active-duty military chaplain and current reservist, sees the decisive years of this development as occurring between the Civil War and the end of the First World War. In this period, chaplains in the army and navy steadily moved toward and finally gained the professional “autonomy” that Budd argues was absolutely necessary for them to function effectively as “a specialized profession within the military profession” (p. 2).

Budd’s emphasis on professionalization and ûureaucratization is characterized by a unique methodological approach. As the framework for his narrative and analysis, Budd employs several interrelated sociological theories that seek to define what constitutes a “profession.” Utilizing predominantly official government and military documents, manuals, publications, and letters, Budd takes a chronological approach to his subject. From the settlement of the American colonies and the role of clergy in Revolutionary-era militias and naval units through to U.S. entry into World War I, Budd sees remarkable historical continuity in the types of challenges the chaplaincy faced internally and externally.

Chaplains struggled for bureaucratic autonomy against hostile or ambivalent superiors, against Congressional leaders, church denominations, civilian organizations like the YMCA, and sometimes each other. Yet at other times, chaplains found support from these very same groups. Budd describes continuous debates over issues such as the type of military uniform, if any, chaplains should wear; appropriate levels of pay and rank; whether chaplains should participate in combat; and what collateral duties chaplains should perform. Over time, chaplains strengthened their position within the expanding military structure through such means as the establishment of educational criteria for chaplaincy, military and ecclesiastical oversight, the creation and growth of professional literature, the formation of chaplain schools, and most importantly, the establishment of an Office of the Chief of Chaplains in the army and navy by the end of World War I. Underlying this steady progression towards autonomy was the ongoing dilemma faced by American chaplaincy—how to satisfy the often competing expectations and requirements demanded of them by their two “masters.”

Budd’s study is effective in achieving its intended aims, but it also reveals a few shortcomings and unresolved questions. For example, Budd concludes that no substantial bureaucratic or professional changes have occurred in American chaplaincy since 1920. Though his personal experience within the American chaplaincy certainly gives merit to this assertion, a short, concluding section discussing this continuity would have lent greater strength to Budd’s arguments. How did the chaplaincy respond professionally and bureaucratically to significant changes in military organization like the post-
World War II ethnic integration of the military, or to the challenges encountered by the military as an occupation, administrative, and judicial force in Europe and Asia? Such questions may or may not have simple answers, but either way, their inclusion in this study would have been most useful and illustrative. There are also, curiously, statistics, anecdotes, and other forms of evidence that are not cited in the endnotes. Indeed, in most cases only direct or partial quotes are given citations. Though Budd wisely includes a comprehensive bibliographic essay that discusses the available source material, more extensive endnotes would have provided a better blueprint of this study for Budd’s peers to examine.

These drawbacks notwithstanding, Budd’s study succeeds far more often than it falls short. Earlier studies of American chaplaincy have not focused on as broad a time period, nor have they stressed the organizational frameworks within which American military chaplains had to perform their myriad duties. The narrative is consistently focused, provides excellent synopses of each chapter, and clearly illustrates the ebb and flow of the chaplaincy’s growth. Serving Two Masters is an important, overdue, and stimulating contribution to the institutional history of the American military. It is also a quality starting point for any scholars interested in researching other areas of the chaplaincy’s long history.

Jon David K. Wyneken, Ohio University


Dear Brother: Letters of William Clark to Jonathan Clark¨ Edited by James Holmberg. Forward by James Ronda. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2002. xxx + 322p.; illustrations, appendix, sources cited, index. $35.00.)

Imagine stumbling across the proverbial trunk-full of hitherto unknown documents highlighting a seminal period in American history and an epic event, one that has captured the imagination of Americans today, say for the sake of argument the early national period and the Lewis and Clark expedition. If this sounds too good to be true, this is one case when it is not. For it was Jim Holmberg’s good fortune to find a set of letters from William Clark, who along with Meriwether Lewis led the famous expedition, to his brother Jonathan Clark, twenty years his senior and veteran of the American Revolution. After a descendant of the Clarks, the Louisville attorney and antiquarian Temple Bodley, passed away, his family found bundles of documents in the attic, including fifty-five letters from William Clark. The family then turned the letters over to the Filson Historical Society where Jim Holmberg serves as curator of special collections. Holmberg has reassembled the letters in a book aptly entitled Dear Brother: Letters of William Clark to Jonathan Clark. What emerges from these letters and the painstakingly annotated notes are at once a rigorous analysis of a man’s life and a homage to the power of the written word in the early republic. But Holmberg has given us something more. With these treasures, he has constructed a fascinating window into a moment when Americans were caught up in the great transition from seaboard society to continental empire.

From these pages, William Clark comes through as a decent man, but one whose wide-ranging experiences reflected the often-conflicted nature of the new nation. One senses the danger, adventure, and excitement of the westering mission, the birth pangs of a Jeffersonian “empire of liberty.” But one also sees that this vision could not be disentangled from the issue of slavery and could only be achieved by the displacement and destruction of Native Americans. William Clark, of course, was a slave owner, most famously the master of York, arguably the first African American to see the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, Clark participated in the frontier wars of the late eighteenth century, a series of skirmishes that served notice that the expansion of a white society west meant the removal of Indian nations. As well as highlighting these tensions that emerged from the American Revolution, the book also sheds light on Clark’s famous journey to the Pacific. Most touchingly, the letters from the years during and after the expedition reveal William Clark as a man who grew to love and admire his co-commander, Meriwether Lewis, that tortured figure who never recovered from the fame he won and who eventually took his own life. When he wrote his brother Jonathan in October 1809 about rumors of Lewis’s death, William confessed “I fear O! I fear the waight of his mind has come over him” (p. 218). After confirming the tragic news a week later, he pleaded with his brother for comfort. “I am at a loss to know what to be at,” he informed Jonathan, writing that “his death is a turble Stroke to me.” Despondent at the grievous loss, he could only muster the thought that “I wish I could talk a little with you just now” (p. 226).

These are but a few of the gems contained in this beautifully produced collection. Holmberg is not only to be congratulated for bringing these significant documents to our attention but also for contributing to our knowledge of an expedition and a period of time that still—so long as we are concerned with the difficult and at times contentious question of what it means to be “American”—call for our continual assessment and re-assessment.

Patrick Griffin, Ohio University


Mama Learned Us to Work: Farm Women in the New South¨ By LuAnn Jones. (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 2002. xiv + 250p.; illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $49.95 cloth; $19.95 paper.)

Considering the attention farm women received from government and social reform movements during the early twentieth century, historians have generally slighted them in favor of studying audiences such as women factory workers. LuAnn Jones addresses this deficit by focusing on farm women in the south—particularly North Carolina, and upon government programs—particularly the work of the home demonstration agents created by the Smith-Lever legislation.

Jones recognizes the difficulty of calculating women’s economic contributions both as producers and consumers. However, she skillfully utilizes first-person accounts to develop a portrait of women whose market gardens, poultry, and dairy operations had a significant financial impact upon their families. The productions of farm wives frequently leveled out family resources when major crops such as tobacco or cotton were adversely affected by conditions such as weather, and their contributions were often the most reliable source of cash a farm family had during the Great Depression.

It seems doubtful that this pattern is unique to the South, although those states did remain the most rural region of the country during the early part of the twentieth century. Perhaps other historians will pick up where Jones has not gone and will consider the commonalities or distinctions between a farm wife on a tobacco farm in North Carolina and one on a dairy farm in Wisconsin.

A key chapter of this work is Jones’s analysis of women in the poultry business, selling both eggs and meat. She persuasively concludes that their experiments demonstrated profitable techniques and helped build the foundation for the poultry industry that emerged in this region after World War II. This is a contribution that has been largely ignored in typical agribusiness research reports.

Jones utilizes records of North Carolina home demonstration agents—both black and white—in a manner that should encourage historians across the country to examine this rich resource. Such agents often had almost a missionary zeal in helping farm women—the “disadvantaged” population of the early twentieth century.

Home demonstration agents organized cooperative markets and showed women how to increase their profits by improving the curb appeal of their fresh vegetables, sparkling jellies, or molded butter. They taught safe canning procedures for preserving the garden’s bounty into the family’s winter food supply. They encouraged farm women’s thrift and resourcefulness in fashioning their poultry feed bags into dresses and shirts until feed companies became quite competitive striving for the most attractive prints for feedbag fashions.

First-person accounts, particularly oral history interviews that rely upon the memories of sons and daughters long after the fact, are both a strength and a weakness of this book. They create vivid images of the hardships that drove women to provide for their families, but they also limit Jones’s research to what is available. She provides tantalizing clues for further research into farm women’s roles not only by historians, but also by economists exploring a broader definition of “income,” psychologists examining concepts of self esteem, and sociologists evaluating adoption practices.

Virginia Evans McCormick, Columbus, Ohio