The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ly uninformed and "recapping" for those who may not have visited this period
for some time. Although nearly overwhelming in the beginning with voluminous
statistics concerning slavery and cotton production both nationally as well as
within Arkansas itself, that information is vital to understanding the place of
Arkansas within the Union and, more specifically, in comparison to her South-
ern counterparts.
Once DeBlack sets the stage with that necessary statistical information, the
narrative flows with the grace of the most entertaining of novels. While not com-
pletely lacking in the areas of "social" history, the work does focus primarily on
the political and military aspects of the period. Where some scholars choose
to "overlap" periods, separating chapters by issue rather than chronologically,
DeBlack chooses a chronological approach in recounting the effect of the war
on Arkansas; and, in doing so, carries the reader with him through the tale, mak-
ing it all the more real an experience.
Even outside the scope of state history, With Fire and Sword also emerges as a
vital work in the genre of Civil War studies as a whole, funneling the national
calamity down to one of its most basic and important levels: the Southern state.
For Texans as well, the book acts as a window our own northeast-a region of
the state that dealt with similar topographical, geographical, and demographical
situations as did the Arkansans. In a civil struggle so intent on the issue of
"states' rights," With Fire and Sword succeeds marvelously in presenting the deep
devotion that Southerners had for this question. Whether a student of Arkansas
history, Southern history, or the Civil War as a whole, readers will find that
Thomas DeBlack has provided an interesting examination of a people and the
struggle for their own identity.
Texas A&M International Universzty Richard A. Hall
Louisiana: An Illustrated History. By C. E. Richard (Baton Rouge: The Foundation
for Excellence in Louisiana Public Broadcasting, 2003. Pp. xvi+2o8. Fore-
word, acknowledgments, maps, illustrations, photographs, notes, sources,
index. ISBN 0-9715573-1-4. $39.95, cloth.)
This volume is a companion to Louisiana Public Broadcasting's six-part televi-
sion series Louiszana: A Hzstory. Each chapter in the book matches a part in the
series, but fortunately the chapters are not printed versions of the television
script. The book, following the tradition-sanctioned view of Louisiana history
from the European perspective, covers the gamut from the French arrival to the
present. Indians, consequently, fare poorly. The six-chapter book is divided into
the colonial era, antebellum period, Civil War, Reconstruction and its aftermath
(the Bourbon era), Huey Long and his successors, and Louisiana since 1960.
With profuse illustrations filling half the pages, this brief volume limits the space
devoted to the narrative, allowing readers-even those who dawdle-to peruse
each chapter in an hour or less.
Illustrations lay at the heart of this oversized tome, which is meant for coffee
tables and to be enjoyed leisurely. The illustrations consist of paintings (land-
scapes, portraits, and historical reenactments, many done years after the events
and not always completely accurate), sketches, and photographs from the Civil

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April

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed September 23, 2014.