American Studies in Honor of William Kenneth Boyd. By mem-
bers of the Americana Club of Duke University. Edited
by David Kelly Jackson.
Durham: Duke University Press, 1940. Pp. ix, 377. $4.00.
This volume of essays by Professor Boyd's "dining and gos-
sip associates" was assembled to "honor their pleasant mem-
ories of him." Of the eight essayists, four are in the field of
literature, two in history, and one each in economics and so-
ciology. The essays vary in length from twenty-four to sixty-
five pages, but this does not detract from the unity of the work.
Some phase of southern life is discussed in each essay, and a
high level of scholarship is maintained. The several authors
have elucidated in a manner that holds the interest of the
The essay entitled "Political Economy of Jefferson, Madison,
and Adams" points out that neither of the three had any formal
training as economists, that all were college graduates, and later
studied law. Their economic ideas were formed through ob-
servation, discussion, analysis, and reading. The sources of
Jefferson's economic ideas are better known than those of Madi-
son and Adams. Needless to say, these men modified their
ideas from time to time. Their views were similar, even to the
fallacies, and each "specified the end and sought to fashion the
The dominant trade position of Cincinnati in the Mississippi
Valley was due to location and the variety of products from the
hinterland. These gave Cincinnati an opportunity to supply the
needs of the South, and this trade was facilitated by the splen-
did waterways leading to that region. This was not to last in-
definitely, for the railroads were already diverting trade else-
where in the 1850's.
The essay, "State Geological Surveys in the Old South", re-
veals a surprising degree of interest and activity during the
period before the Civil War. The next essay shows that the
South was a land of open resources and that labor was the pre-
dominant problem. The attempted solution evolved slavery and
the plantation system. Slavery was abolished only to have share-
tenancy become a greater evil.
In the opinion of the reviewer, the best essay of the group is
"Literary Nationalism in the Old South." The author displays
the finesse of a master craftsman in describing sensitive south-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/. Accessed May 22, 2015.