Southwestern Historical Quarterly
If all the historians of the American South were asked to draw up lists
of twenty of their outstanding living colleagues, surely not a single list
would omit the name of C. Vann Woodward. Indeed, Woodward would
be on nearly everyone's short list of ten, and he would be in the number
one position on many, if not a majority, of the lists. Woodward has
reached this eminent position because of both the quantity and quality
of his writings on the nation's most distinctive section. His most impor-
tant publications dealing with the South are: Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel;
Reunion and Reaction; The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction;
Origins of the New South, 1877 - 1913; The Strange Career of Jim Crow; The
Burden of Southern History; and American Counterpoint: Slavery and Racism in
the North-South Dialogue.
Writing History, which appears during Woodward's retirement years,
is something of an intellectual biography. Woodward details how he came
to write each of his major works, describing the forces that influenced
him, what the reactions of his critics were, what he thinks of his critics'
remarks (usually holding to his original position; sometimes agreeing with
the critics; occasionally suggesting criticism that the critics might have
made but did not), and how the theses of his books have stood the test
of time. His preoccupation with his critics no doubt is responsible for his
dedicating his book to them and for the subtitle: The Perils of Writing History
Woodward has been called a liberal, a conservative, a presentist, an
ironist, a moralist, and an ideologue. Whatever the implications of those
labels, Writing History is a delightfully revealing account of a southern
gentleman and historian who has written on controversial historical sub-
jects with conviction and passion. The American historical profession owes
a great debt to C. Vann Woodward.
New Mexico State University MONROE BILLINGTON
"If You Don't Like the Weather ... ": Stories of Texas Weather. By John Ed-
ward Weems. (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1986. Pp. ix + 121.
Acknowledgments, illustrations, photographs, notes, sources, index,
photo credits. $14.95.)
John Edward Weems is a skilled writer and his works are always en-
joyable to read. This book is no exception. It is not intended to be a
definitive work or a scholarly treatise. It does contain a few footnotes,
though more might be desired, and it does include a well-selected reading
list, though again somewhat abbreviated. The book is intended to pro-
vide an entertaining summary of Texas weather for readers with various
backgrounds and interests. The author covers most of the basic aspects
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/. Accessed March 1, 2015.