The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Finally, the history of the Southern Conference is significant for
the lessons it teaches. The Conference failed to grow; in 1946 member-
ship reached 1o,ooo, then tailed off badly. "The failure to become a
mass organization," writes Krueger, "was fatal" (p. 196). It was not
so much that the Conference failed to grow because it was fighting
entrenched greed, or history, or a way of life. It was immobilized by
its friends as much as by its enemies. The Conference is a case study
of what happens when well-meaning middle class, urban, liberal ideo-
logues spend more time in panel discussions kicking each other in the
shins than out beating the bushes for rural, labor, and minority group
support, support from the all-important nobodies of society. And
there is at least one other lesson. From the beginning the Confer-
ence was branded a Communist front, a tool of subversion. Krueger's
defense against this charge is admirable and convincing. But for the
Conference one can sympathize with its debilitating and fruitless
efforts to handle that ageless problem of proving the negative.
For students of the New Deal and the New South there is appended
a rewarding bibliographic essay.
University of Texas at Arlington GEORGE WOLFSKILL
Quotemanship: The Use and Abuse of Quotations for Polemical and
Other Purposes. By Paul F. Boiler, Jr. Dallas (Southern Method-
ist University Press), 1967. Pp. xi+431. Index. $7.95.
Professor Boller's book presents the reviewer with unique problems.
In the first place, there is no other work with which it can be compared
and contrasted. And secondly, while it is undeniably a work of scholar-
ship, one has the feeling that the author is not completely serious.
He states emphatically that he is not writing a "compilation of famous
quotations for ready reference," but is solely concerned with the use
made of quotations in political battles in recent times. Likewise, he
admits his approach is strongly influenced by Stephen Potter's pop-
ular books on "gamesmanship." Hence, his material is oriented toward
enabling the reader to achieve success in "oneupmanship."
In his words, "The whole point about quotemanship is that the
quoteman does not simply quote; he quotes in order to score a point,
usually of a political nature, and thereby throw his opponent off bal-
ance." Thus, quotations can be divided into some six categories, de-
signed to fit the situation. These include such varieties as "esteemed-
authority," "adversary-as-authority," "confrontation," and so on to

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed August 29, 2014.