The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 248
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The absence of chapter headings makes this book unique. If
one cared to supply the chapter headings, it should not be too
difficult to do so, since the material is well organized and follows
a chronological pattern within the broader topics. The progress
of the narrative is well charted by the many topics which are
marked in bold-faced type. This history is a good Texana item,
and the admirers and collectors of county histories will want to
have a copy.
RUDOLPH L. BIESELE
The University of Texas
The South during Reconstruction, 1865-1877 [Vol. VIII, A His-
tory of the South]. By E. Merton Coulter. Baton Rouge
(Louisiana State University and the Littlefield Fund for
Southern History of the University of Texas), 1947. Pp.
xii+426. Illustrations. $5.00.
The author sticks closely to the theme of his volume, which is
indicated in the title, The South during Reconstruction; he
devotes relatively little space to the congressional history and
the national aspects of reconstruction, but focuses his attention,
rather, upon the history of the South during the period of recon-
struction. Theoretically, this approach gives the author more
latitude, for it enables him to treat of matters in no way related
to or affected by reconstruction. As far as the reviewer is able to
judge, however, both from his own study of the subject and
Professor Coulter's treatment of it, every aspect of human life
in the South down to the simplest physiological functions was
affected, more or less, by Radical reconstruction.
Three tragic themes run through the book: the despoilment
of the South by the unrealistic and dishonest fiscal policy of the
Radicals; the inept, shortsighted, and, ofttimes, malicious han-
dling of race relations; and the accompanying humiliation and
degradation of the proud native whites.
The first act of despoilment was the theft by Treasury agents
of an estimated three million bales of cotton owned by private
citizens. This cotton at the then current prices, which ranged
from fifty cents to a dollar per pound, would have brought over
a billion dollars, an amount sufficient to have put the South back
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/257/?rotate=90: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.