The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

tice would be equally valuable and far more readable if it were substan-
tially shorter, and some judicious cutting might have enabled Kluger to
include real footnotes, rather than just short bibliographies for each chap-
ter.
The author might also have devoted more attention to the implementa-
tion of the Brown decision. Residents of Dallas and Austin, still living with
legal fights and community turmoil over bussing, may find hard to accept
the optimism which permeates his sketchy final chapter on developments
since I955. Integrated education is not yet a reality and Charles Huston's
1937 observation that "[W]e'll all be better off when instead of spending
money on lawsuits we spend it for social advancement," remains as re-
levant today as when he made it. While perhaps guilty of portraying
Brown as more climactic than it was, Kluger has nevertheless produced an
exceptional book.
University of Texas, Austin MICHEL R. BELKNAP
The Trouble They Seen: Black People Tell the Story of Reconstruction.
Edited by Dorothy Sterling. (Garden City, New York: Doubleday
& Company, Inc., 1976. Pp. xx+49I. Illustrations, index. $7.95.)
Dorothy Sterling, the author of several popular volumes on black his-
tory, has sought in this edited book to offer original accounts by black
people of their lives during Reconstruction. To present their views of that
complex period she has drawn on black newspapers, manuscript collec-
tions, reminiscences, interviews taken during congressional investigations,
state government proceedings, and the papers of the Freedmen's Bureau.
The documents in this volume offer a basically representative selection of
available sources. Only excerpts from the oral history interviews in George
Rawick (ed.), The American Slave, which include frequent comments on
post-Civil War events, might have added to the range of views contained
in this collection.
The volume begins with accounts concerning the problems and possi-
bilities of the first year after emancipation. These are followed by a sec-
tion depicting the role of the Freedmen's Bureau, anti-black violence,
and the initiation of black political participation. Black politicians in both
state and national government are the focal point of the next chapters.
The theme then shifts to social life, civil rights, and economic status-
agricultural and urban. A section on education considers both the basic
level and the development of black colleges. The book closes with lengthy
discussions of the losing struggle by blacks against southern white efforts

340

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/. Accessed August 22, 2014.