The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Arkansas characters. There are also extensive illustrations, including particularly
interesting images made during the 1930s by the Farm Security Administration.
In addition to his effort at producing a general state history, Dougan seeks to
integrate the story into a cohesive whole. He assumes that the development of
Arkansas has produced a singular experience, a unique history and character in
the people of the state. Dougan believes that Arkansas did not evolve along the
same lines as the nation or even the rest of the South. Instead, Arkansas has
failed to enjoy the success, especially the material prosperity, associated with the
emergence of modern America since the late nineteenth century and enjoyed
more recently by much of the rest of the South.
The basic question asked throughout this work is why Arkansas and its people
took the path that they did. Dougan argues that, in addition to tensions between
human society and geography, the course of history in the state has been charac-
terized by a struggle between "modernizers" and "traditionalists." In that strug-
gle, he believes that despite success in modernizing economically, traditional
cultural values have persisted and held the state back from a fuller integration
into the national community.
It is difficult to do justice to a book of such magnitude in a short review, but
overall Dougan's effort achieves some successes while at the same time posing
some problems. His model is useful in understanding many of the events of the
early twentieth century, but at times the argument seems strained. One wonders
whether characterizing the 184os battles between Whigs and Democrats as strug-
gles between "modernists" and "traditionalists" is truly accurate. A fuller develop-
ment of the author's understanding of these two concepts would be useful, espe-
cially in their application to earlier political conflicts. Nonetheless, Dougan has
made here what too many state historians avoid altogether, and that is an effort
to produce a meaningful (and understandable) interpretation of a state's history
that does more than simply celebrate ancestors, especially the successful ones,
and ignore the complex forces at work in creating any modern state.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock CARL H. MONEYHON
Daughters of Canaan: A Saga of Southern Women. By Margaret Ripley Wolfe.
(Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1995. Pp. xii+281. ISBN 0-8131 1-
902-2. $37.50.)
Margaret Ripley Wolfe has undertaken a book of formidable scope: a history
of Southern women for four centuries. She defines the South as those states
where slavery persisted until the Civil War and includes females of all races, col-
ors, ethnic groups, and classes.
The book distinguishes Southern women from their counterparts in other
regions on several counts. They suffer from the stigma of being Southern-that
is, they bear the burden of Southern history, mythology, and legend. They are
shadowed by the images of the Southern lady and Southern belle, and they con-
tend with the racial question, which supersedes gender and class. Moreover, the
patriarchy was stronger in the Old South than elsewhere and has lingered into

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101217/. Accessed July 2, 2015.