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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984

Book Reviews

lation of the depth of the author's knowledge, the strength of her mind,
and the subtlety of her thought. After only a few pages, the reader will
realize that he is observing a truly great intellect at work. But there is
more than knowledge and intellect in these pages. Present also is a deli-
cate but precise intuition that points the way to conclusions that re-
search and reasoning can later justify.
So many ideas are offered that it is almost effrontery for a reviewer
to select any of them for special attention, but Rose emphasizes
throughout the absolute necessity of dealing with slavery as an evolving
institution, not as something frozen into the same pattern for 250 years.
She makes it perfectly clear that slavery in the mid-eighteenth century
was a much harsher (though perhaps a more human) regime than the
slavery of the mid-nineteenth century. Without having done directly
the research accomplished by Herbert Gutman, she seems to have ante-
dated him, or at least arrived simultaneously, in reaching the conclu-
sion that the slave family was highly stable as compared to the black
family of the mid-twentieth century.
Finally, one must note that Rose writes with grace, beauty, and pre-
cision. In general, American historians seem to be writing somewhat
better today than a generation ago, but the prose of this book, at its
best, is worthy of a great novelist, and sometimes even of a poet. It is
required reading for all southern historians and students of southern
history. No literate person who reads it will be wasting his time.
McNeese State University JOE GRAY TAYLOR
The Politician: The Life and Times of Lyndon B. Johnson. By Ron-
nie Dugger. (New York: W. W. Norton &8 Company, 1982.
Pp. 514. Introduction, prologue, illustrations, acknowledgments,
notes and sources, bibliography, index. $18.95.)
Ronnie Dugger, editor of the Texas Observer, focuses on Lyndon B.
Johnson's life from boyhood until LBJ became Senate majority leader.
The author's quest to understand Johnson's life and times leads him
to conclude that his brilliant subject was the master American poli-
tician during the twentieth century. Correctly, Dugger identifies John-
son's drive for power. Significantly, he reveals the impact of Johnson's
heritage.
As a youth, LBJ received populism from his grandfather, liberalism
from his father, and conservatism from his mother. Johnson concluded
that principled politicians lost; opportunistic individuals won. Dugger

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/. Accessed May 4, 2015.