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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

E. Kirby Smith. The general is treated generously, but for the most part
with objectivity. In the end, however, this is a study of a region and a
period, not of a man.
Only a few flaws mar an otherwise admirable study. Kerby suggests
that the Texas "Cattle Kingdom" was considerably more significant in
186o than it actually was. Like many an outsider, he has difficulty de-
ciding whether to call the Atchafalaya a river or a bayou, and he over-
uses the word "cis-Mississippi," a term somehow not nearly so smooth as
its opposite.
East Texas State University FRANK H. SMYRL
The South and the Concurrent Majority. By David M. Potter. (Baton
Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1972. Pp. viii+ 89. $4.95.)
Although David M. Potter delivered the Walter Lynwood Fleming
Lectures at Louisiana State University in 1968, they remained unpub-
lished at the time of his death in February, 1971. Potter had apparently
revised for publication only the first of the three lectures, and, while
they would not rank among his best and most original essays, The South
and the Concurrent Majority is a provocative and penetrating work.
The profession is indebted to Don E. Fehrenbacher and Carl N. Degler
for editing the lectures and making them available in published form.
Utilizing the conceptional framework of John C. Calhoun's concur-
rent majority, Potter investigated the methods through which the South
was able "to maintain its basic sectional objectives despite adverse
majorities in the nation" (p. 3). During the period between Recon-
struction and the New Deal, the South, by concentrating its strength
within the Democratic party and by exploiting such practices as congres-
sional seniority, the committee system, the filibuster, the party caucus,
and the two-thirds rule in national nominating conventions, achieved
in practice substantially what Calhoun had sought through formal
institutional arrangements-the "negative" power to block majority
threats to white southern interests.
The emergence of the New Deal coalition broke southern domination
of the Democratic party, however, leading Potter to conclude that "the
century of the concurrent majority" was at its end (p. 89) .

University of Georgia



Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed August 21, 2014.