The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959

Book Reviews

denunciations of popular evangelists with crude tirades against
Negroes. He understood the journalistic trick that a sharp attack
upon the status quo was a certain way to acquire readers. His cam-
paign of vituperation culminated in attacks on Baylor Univer-
sity, the chief Baptist institution of learning in Texas. Fuel was
added to the flames by the seduction or rape of a foreign student
who was a ward in the house of the president of Baylor. Although
the alleged seducer was neither a student nor a faculty member
of the university, Brann made the scandal the basis for an attack
on the moral integrity of the university in particular and of the
Baptists in general. This rubbing of salt in the wound gave his
paper wide circulation and hurt the reputation of a prized school.
Brann was horsewhipped by an angry citizen, kidnapped and
thrashed by Baylor students, and inspired the violent death of
several persons. The end of Brann and his Iconoclast came in a
pistol fight between him and a friend of Baylor that resulted in
the death of both men.
Despite the interest of the subject, Mr. Carver's book is only
partly satisfying. He uses printed sources only and does not ex-
plain his failure to make revelations from private letters. He does
not stick close to the subject of his biography; he interpolates
documentary evidence only indirectly relevant. Moreover, Brann
does not turn out to be the giant destroyer of cant the writer
imagined he was during a South Carolina childhood. The Waco
editor was no Voltaire or H. L. Mencken, no master of uniquely
destructive rhetoric. Supposedly the enemy of Victorianism, he is
revealed as a belated Victorian-a gallant gentleman of the old
school as likely to uphold the moral proprieties as a provincial
preacher. After a furious attack on Baylor, he naively remarked,
"I would deserve to be shot if I defamed the humblest girl within
its walls." FRANCIS B. SIMKINS
Longwood College
Big D Is for Dallas. By James Howard. Austin (Privately printed,
distributed by University Co-operative Society), 1957- Pp.
170. Illustrations. $3.25.
The author is an academic product of The University of Texas
and the American Civilization program at Harvard University.
Dr. Oscar Handlin, who supervised this dissertation, has indicated


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 18, 2014.