The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 305
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by some of the more voluminous writers, who credit Bancroft
himself with slightly less than ten volumes. Granting the ac-
curacy of the bald statement, it ignores Bancroft's part in plan-
ning the index and in the taking of the notes, the overall organ-
ization of the work, and the general editorial direction. Though,
in the end, he gave less editorial attention to, some of the vol-
umes-as Professor Caughey says-than he originally intended,
his experienced hand and well-stocked mind were always at
This, in general, is the story that Professor Caughey tells
with vividness and a wealth of detail. For scholars in the field
of American history-particularly, in western and Latin-Amer-
ican history-the book should have engrossing interest, because
to most of us Bancroft has been little more than an impersonal
bibliographical item, a name prefixed to the title of a sober but
indispensable volume and the creator of the Bancroft Library
now in the University of California at Berkeley. Others who still
admit a fondness for the Horatio Alger type of hero, progress-
ing by industry and assiduity to success and affluence, or those
on the other hand, who welcome an additional example of the
heartless tycoon turning to his own account the anonymous
labor of the poor--both of these schools of sentiment should
enjoy the book from their respective points of view. For, as
a businessman, Bancroft was upright, considerate, enterprising,
and conspicuously successful; and, as a historian, he proudly
admitted that he applied business methods, even to the extent
of holding his staff to a working schedule stretching from seven
fifteen to six o'clock with a half hour for lunch. It is evident
that the author has a considerable liking for his subject and
an immense respect. He wishes that Bancroft had been more
generous in giving individual credit to some of his writers, but
quite properly he puts himself in the great historian's shoes
and renders judgment with diffidence.
In a sense, the book was easy to write, and one has the im-
pression that Professor Caughey enjoyed writing it. Bancroft
himself was a voluminous and candid autobiographical writer,
and his own writings could furnish the thread of the narrative.
Thorough acquaintance with the Bancroft Library, in addition,
and with the thirty-nine volumes of the Works, not to mention
a facile pen, enabled the author to give us a pleasing and useful
study. It properly places Bancroft in the gallery of great Amer-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/352/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.