The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

the election in one of the closest races on record - one state
alone deciding the photo-finish. Thus the first 'dark horse'
stepped, in a single stride, from a Tennessee law office to the
White House." (p. 16.)
Polk made his first race for Congress in the presidential
election of 1824, the election that ended in the "corrupt bargain"
between John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay. Polk's maiden
speech in Congress supported a constitutional amendment for
the popular election of the president and vice-president. In
1835 Polk was elected speaker and helped Andrew Jackson
in the war on the bank and attacks on the protective tariff.
No wonder that Jackson ardently supported his fellow-
Tennessean once Van Buren would not take the right stand on
the Texas question and also because it gave him a chance to
help in defeating his rival from Kentucky.
The story is told in an interesting manner. The author,
Frank van der Linden, is the managing editor and editorial
writer of the Daily Record of Hickory, North Carolina.
One interesting fact must be pointed out about the author's
style. He is given to alliterative expression, such as "his
speech impassioned, impetuous, imaginative" (p. 20), "packed
a punch in politics far out of proportion to his physique" (p. 46),
"James K. Polk relied upon secretive, skillful strategy" (p. 70),
and "Butler's startling statement started a stampede" (p. 77).
The chapter titles also are alliterative. The names of news-.
papers, customarily italicized in historical writing, appear either
not italicized or else in quotation marks in this book. Reproduc-
tions of ten engravings and of twelve cartoons add much in
illustrating the story.
RUDOLPH L. BIESELE
The University of Texas
Soil Exhaustion and the Civil War. By William Chandler Bagley,
Jr. Washington, D.C. (American Council on Public Affairs),
1942. Pp.ix+101. Cloth edition $2.00. Paper edition $1.50.
Professor Bagley contends in this book that an important
factor among the many causes of the American Civil War was
soil exhaustion. Poor farming principles in the eastern states
led to the repetitious practice of planting cotton or other
so-called "slave crops" over and over again, which, in turn,

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/. Accessed July 28, 2014.