172 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Dictionary of American Biography. Edited by Dumas Malone.
Volume IX, pages x, 625. (New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons, 1932.) Price, $12.50.
This volume, covering the alphabet from Hibben to Jarvis, con-
tains 672 sketches, the work of 363 authors. The major articles
are those on James J. Hill, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Winslow
Homer, Sam Houston, William Dean Howells, Washington Irving,
Andrew Jackson, Henry James, and William James. These longer
sketches average six pages each. The remaining articles vary from
half a page to three pages. Perhaps the subjects of these nine
larger sketches may be taken as an index of the emphasis of the
volume--one capitalist and railroad executive, two politicians, three
literary men, one painter, and one college professor, who, by the
way, occupies ten pages against eight for Andrew Jackson and three
for Sam Houston. In the minor sketches no phase of human
activity is neglected-diplomats, lawyers, soldiers, actors, preach-
ers, inventors, farmers, merchants, bankers, physicians, race-
horse trainers, baseball players, missionaries, suffragists, and out-
laws, to mention but a few. One of the chief aims of the editors
was to present in the Dictionary "a cross section of American life,"
and this volume well illustrates the success which they have attained.
Some five thousand sketches have now appeared in the Dictionary,
and each succeeding volume increases the interest and value of the
work. In spite of necessary condensation, the articles represent a
high degree of literary excellence, and, in general, are intrinsically
interesting. Even a casual reader may find both entertainment
and profit in the personal and factual details of the numerous
sketches of contemporaries and near contemporaries with whose
careers he is already partially familiar.
Sketches of Texans or of those related to the development of
Texas are: Sam Houston (an excellent sketch by Professor R. G.
Caldwell, of Rice Institute), Volney E. Howard, R. B. Hubbard
(by Professor C. S. Potts), James S. Hogg (by Professor Caldwell),
R. S. Hyer, and John Ireland.
The Dictionary of American Biography is fostered by the Ameri-
can Council of Learned Societies (representing eighteen learned
associations). Its preparation was made possible by a subvention
from the New York Times Company and Mr. Adolph S. Ochs.
EUGENE C. BARKER.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101093/. Accessed April 28, 2015.