The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Alcoholics Anonymous, is the most sensitive analysis to date of that
significant development. But the chief strength of the present work
is the care with which its author traces the growth of opposition to
liquor at the local level. Tyrrell meticulously builds up a cast of
characters and local issues that intersect in the Northeast to produce
finally the Maine law of 1851. He convinces by the sheer weight of
that painstaking exercise.
The laws of the "first" prohibition did not long survive the Civil
War. But Tyrrell is quite correct to point up in his conclusion the
significant legacies of the crusade: the equation for the first time in
America of temperance and abstinence with frugality, efficiency, hap-
piness, and success; the equating of opposition to liquor with the main-
line Protestant churches; and, most important, the idea that legal
action could do away with drinking. All became essential components
of Prohibition. Now, thanks to this fine work, we know much more
about the nineteenth-century origins of the "noble experiment."
University of Texas, Austin HOWARD MILLER
Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War. By Eric Foner.
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1980. Pp. 250. Introduction,
notes, index. $15.95.)
In Free Soil, Free Labor, and Free Men (1970), Eric Foner argued
that by studying the ideologies of the North and South during the
decade preceding the Civil War one might achieve a broader under-
standing of the causes and nature of that conflict. It was a simple
enough proposition, but one, strangely, that historians had tended to
neglect. Ideology, Foner insisted, must be broadly defined to be
meaningful, encompassing the beliefs, values, fears, prejudices, and
commitments of a given group-in short, its social consciousness, the
way it perceives itself in the larger social context. Foner's brilliant
analysis of the ideology of the Republican Party during the 185os not
only added a new dimension to the perennial question of the war's
causes, but also opened a new and fruitful line of inquiry into the
nature of American politics in that decade. In the volume under re-
view, Foner has built upon and expanded the base he established in
his earlier work. Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War is
a collection of seven essays, all of which were originally published
elsewhere, that emphasizes once again the author's conviction that
politics and ideology, viewed in the broadest possible ways, are in-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101208/. Accessed July 10, 2014.