The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956

Book Reviews

who, instead of really giving them good advice, instill the most dis-
concerting doubts into those who were firmly resolved on emigration.
Other experiences of Dresel could be mentioned, other ac-
quaintances could be listed, and other quotations could be made,
but why deny you, dear reader, the opportunity of finding them
yourself. It is hoped that this review will encourage the reading
of Dresel's Houston Journal, for I feel that the reader will be
The University of Texas
Newton D. Baker and His Books. By Willis Thornton. Cleveland
(Western Reserve University Press), 1954. Pp. 85.
Newton D. Baker, a lawyer and a prominent reform Democrat
during the Progressive Era, became, successively, secretary to
William Wilson (Grover Cleveland's Postmaster-General), City
Solicitor and Mayor of Cleveland (Ohio), Secretary of War to
Woodrow Wilson, a member of the Hague Court, and an intense
supporter of Western Reserve University, to which, in 1952, fifteen
years after his death, his children bequeathed his personal library
of 3,000 volumes. Four hundred of these carry Baker's marginal
comments or extensive notations, and Mr. Thornton, a Cleveland
journalist, has here made public for the first time a wide selection
of these marginal notes. Together with Baker's official papers in
the Library of Congress and his personal letters these comments
provide the historian with much original data on Baker's mind
and career.
Those who have read George Mowry's recent analysis of the
California Progressives and their beliefs will find that Baker's
comments only confirm what they would expect a Wilsonian Pro-
gressive with pacifist leanings to have believed. Baker thought war
an evil, whatever its purposes, and held that human nature was
fundamentally good: "how alike men are-and how noble!" he
wrote in the margin of one book. He exalted the individual and
distrusted the "class" consciousness both of successful businessmen
and successful labor leaders; as Secretary of War he had endured
the criticism of both. In a note penned in his copy of Nevins'
Grover Cleveland Baker evoked the common norm of the indi-
vidualist in comparing Cleveland with Henry Cabot Lodge:


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 27, 2015.