The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

should have given some room in the book to rebuttals of the official
version of the Brownsville incident which, as reprinted in the text,
constitutes a damning indictment of the members of the Twenty-
fifth Infantry involved. On the whole the collection contains too many
dull, repetitious accounts of battles and skirmishes engaged in by
the black units. The human dimension is all too often missing.
University of Wisconsin, Platteville. NORMAN LEDERER
Umphrey Lee: A Biography. By Winifred T. Weiss and Charles Proc-
tor. (New York: Abingdon Press, 1971. Pp. 240. $6.75.)
Quite often biographies are superficially divided into those intended
to show the subject in the best light possible, those which degrade
the person in the worst light possible, and those which genuinely
search to uncover the real person. There can be little doubt that this
biography of Umphrey Lee falls into the first category. Umphrey
Lee was the sort of person who tempts one to extravagant praise, but
continual adulation gets a bit tiresome, as if the man were not quite
human. Even small eccentricities and obvious mistakes are consist-
ently defended and excused. Sometimes the true greatness of a man
is lost in trite praise. This man was an enemy of the platitude.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed this nostalgic visit to a much-admired man.
The biographers have carefully read his voluminous writings and
culled for posterity some of his choicest epigrams. His history is almost
a parallel of the history of Southern Methodist University. He was
enrolled in the class of 1915 (the first class), elected president of
the University in 1940 in its twenty-fifth year, and served fifteen years
during the period of its most remarkable growth. He become the
pastor of Highland Park Methodist Church in Dallas in 1923 and
remained there until his death in 1958, with the exception of the
years 1936 to 1940 when he was dean of the School of Religion at
Vanderbilt in Nashville. His tenure at Southern Methodist is a period
worth recording for Dallasites, Texans, and churchmen concerned
with higher education.
Internationally known as a Wesleyan scholar of the first rank, Lee
always insisted that John Wesley can only be understood within the
framework of his times. Such a stance leaves no excuse for Lee's
biographers to say that his sermons "are as appropriate and inspira-
tional today as the day they were written and delivered for the first

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/. Accessed August 20, 2014.