The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 353
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history than on this same period. Now, that need no longer exists.
This is not to say that no one should ever attempt a work similar
to what Professor Randall has done, but it is safe to say that no
one will attempt it soon.
Professor Randall has in this volume incorporated the significant
facts and the most modern and intelligent interpretations of this
much disputed epoch. Yet he has not accepted the revisionist
point of view for its novelty; in fact he believes the revisionists
themselves will be in for revision sometime. This work has been
no easy task done in a hurried fashion. Years of research lie back
of it which appear more in its clearly and well-written text than
in an array of useless footnotes; though footnotes there are good
and sufficient for all actual needs. Professor Randall has also
used with good sense and skill the findings in numerous mono-
graphs and special studies of scholars who have gone deep into
their own specific interests. The result is an authoritative work,
rather heavily laden with fact and wisdom, though never dull
reading. Clarity and thorough treatment of the subject matter
are valuable features of this work-nothing is taken up, carried
a way, and then left dangling because of the difficulty involved
in seeing it to the end.
In the light of these observations, it should be evident that
Professor Randall has not over-simplified his history. Life is too
complicated to make it possible to explain an upheaval like our
Civil War as proceeding from one cause. Hence he harbors a doubt
"whether all the facile generalizations made with the finality of
'economic determinism' are valid." Equally uncertain is he that the
Civil War can be dismissed as an "irrepressible conflict." In fact he
"is yet unconvinced that the tragic conflict has been proved to be
inevitable." The period immediately following the war "misnamed
'reconstruction' " he believes to be "one of the most deplorable in
Almost three-fourths of the work is given to the Civil War and
to its background, and here is where Professor Randall makes his
greatest contribution. His chapters on the Old South, Slavery, and
the Yankee World are masterful in their condensation and pro-
portions. He seems always on familiar ground, whether he be
dealing with politics, economic and social developments, military
affairs, or diplomacy. He has included a generous portion of mili-
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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/m1/381/: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.