The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 258
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
responsibility." The recital of how the Supreme Court of the
United States in the 80's decided that a corporation is a "person"
and thus tied the hands of all states and businesses to protect them-
selves from corporate might is a brilliant and moving piece of
The old saying has it that facts are stubborn things. Often,
however, even in the highest tribunals of the land, facts are not
so stubborn as the prejudices of the poor and the self-interest of
the rich. The sympathy that a majority of its readers have for
the judgments found in Divided We Stand will be determined by
their economic security or insecurity. I do not understand though
how any human being with the least passion for liberty could
read the chapter "Everywhere in Chains" without having his
gorge rise. This is "Livy's pictured page" of how corporations
and machines, chain systems and interlocking directorates have
driven "natural persons" from living independent lives and con-
ducting independent businesses to become the servile automatons of
a few feudalistic overlords sitting in Wall Street and its environs.
All writing of high seriousness, all literature that attains to a
nobility of expression, has a deep spiritual significance. It is in
their blight, their weight, their curse upon the human spirit that
Webb finds the deepest guilt of the machine-driving corporations.
Through them, "something fine has gone out of the farm, and
that is the spirit of independence and self-sufficiency. . . . Some-
thing fine has gone out of the farmer, something of the spirit of
independence. In reality he has become a retainer, and might well
don the uniform of his service"--like the bell hops in chain hotels
and the servitors at chain filling stations.
In the beginning of this review I spoke of the "wit" of Walter
Prescott Webb. Good writers are not unconscious of their art.
Conscious of his own succinctness and the pattern he has drawn,
Webb remarks that "the unity of the past depends as much on
what we neglect as on what we select." Irrespective of the omis-
sions that he has made while employing "the most difficult of all
arts--the art of omission," the partisan and the unpartisan alike
will find joy in the summation of certain American leaders, in-
cluding Henry Ford, Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, and
Hoover, who have had a part in bringing American democracy
to its frontierless crisis.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938, periodical, 1938; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/m1/280/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.