The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971

Book Reviews

himself think, believe, and do things alien to his nature." But
neither Davis nor a conservative Congress could meet all modern
war's stern demands, "could not fasten order on a reckless people."
Bruce Catton's writings have become the yardstick by which Civil
War books are measured. Their Tattered Flags reaches that high
standard. This reviewer would wish that Vandiver's grasp of ante-
bellum southern history were as sure as his knowledge of the Con-
federacy. He exaggerates, for example, the strength of the anti-
slavery movement in the South before 1831, and his account of national
party politics in the 186o election is curiously flawed. Yet his errors
are minor compared with his achievement. His writing is always
fine and at times genuinely moving; in him the much maligned
Jefferson Davis has found his most able and eloquent defender. To
Vandiver, the Confederate president is a tragic hero in the Greek
mold; after the fall of Richmond, "something very human" happened
to Davis. "He stopped seeing the inevitable and began to believe
in another future. In this other future the Confederacy would win
and be free. It was a deep and moving conviction and it lent him
a certain grandeur as he walked through the ruin of his life." This
is epic history told by a master storyteller.
University of Texas, Austin NORMAN D. BROWN
Arkansas Gazette: The Early Years, 1819-1866. By Margaret Ross.
(Little Rock: Arkansas Gazette Foundation, 1969. Pp. xii + 428.
Illustrations, bibliography, index. $7.50.)
This book is a detailed study of the early history of the state of
Arkansas' leading newspaper, the Little Rock Arkansas Gazette,
which currently claims the distinction of being the oldest newspaper
west of the Mississippi. Although several papers, which have passed
out of existence, preceded its appearance in the Louisiana Purchase
country, the Gazette was the first one established in Arkansas. Its
founder was William E. Woodruff who came to the newly created
Arkansas Territory in 1819 and was associated with the Gazette for
a large part of the period covered in this study.
Fully discussed are technical developments, printing improvements,
increases in size and circulation, financial problems, and changes in
ownership. Even more thoroughly covered is the Gazette's role in
early Arkansas politics. The Gazette was, during most of the time span

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/. Accessed September 4, 2015.