The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989

Book Reviews

one years of her life. She remembered a youth spent in Donaldsonville,
Baton Rouge, Port Hudson, Jackson, New Orleans, and briefly at
boarding school in Alabama, concluding with her marriage to stationer
Joseph Garcia. C6line's reminiscences included details of domestic life,
experiences of civilians in rural Louisiana during the Civil War, and the
melancholy atmosphere of Reconstruction-era New Orleans. Like the
political events she observed, many of Cdline's personal experiences
were bitter. Her childhood, if she writes truthfully, was fraught with
conflict, especially with Caroline, who reared her with a cruel severity
that the timid Leon made little effort to lessen. Found after her death
in 1935, the memoir remains in descendants' custody.
Cdline's narrative is engrossing, often touching, sometimes dramatic.
Its greatest value lies in its insight into mid-nineteenth-century life in a
middle-class Louisiana family, providing a rare glimpse of imported
French culture. As Bertram Wyatt-Brown notes in his foreword, few
autobiographies have emerged from average families, still fewer writ-
ten by French-Catholic daughters of immigrants. That the story por-
trays not only the Fremaux home but also the less strict households of
friends and relatives with which Celine was familiar adds to its useful-
ness and facilitates comparison.
Patrick J. Geary has edited the memoir expertly, transcribing it accu-
rately and aiding the reader's understanding without intruding upon
Cdline's narrative; and Bertram Wyatt-Brown's foreword perceptively
examines the Fremaux family from a psychological viewpoint. Celine is
a welcome addition to the small but instructive body of Louisianians'
diaries and memoirs. The only regret is that there are not more Fre-
maux diaries-especially Caroline's, which a descendant destroyed-
awaiting editorial scrutiny.
The Historic New Orleans Collectzon FLORENCE M. JUMONVILLE
White House Operations: The Johnson Presidency. By Emmette S. Redford
and Richard T. McCulley. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986.
Pp. xii+247. Foreword, preface, introduction, tables, charts, con-
clusion, notes, index. $30.00, cloth.)
This book is the fifth in a series of monographs that will form a com-
plete administrative history of the Lyndon B. Johnson presidency. Like
its predecessors, White House Operations is based, for the most part,
upon the holdings of the Johnson Library with additional information
from oral interviews and published memoirs.
The authors explain that one purpose of the book is to "provide an
accurate and more detailed understanding of the actual nature of

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed September 22, 2014.