The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 478
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
than is suggested by the gaudy jacket the publisher has given
it. It belongs on the shelf of books that Texans are likely to
cherish in the years ahead.
Ploughshares Into Swords: Josiah Gorgas and Confederate
Ordnance. By Frank E. Vandiver. Austin (The University
of Texas Press), 1952. Pp. xiv+349. $5.00.
It was almost ten years from the time when the desire to
write a biography of Josiah Gorgas was born in the author until
the completed biography was published. The decision to write
the biography was made in Washington, D. C., in 1942; the
place and time of printing are revealed in the superscription
of this review.
The author made many a trip, long and short, wrote an
untold number of letters, and participated in many an interview
in which he asked the questions, heard answers, and sometimes
received advice and direction. The author saw many a home and
many a library, and in these he saw private and public collections.
In other words, he had a wide and varied experience in col-
lecting data, from the absorption and interpretation of which
he wrote the biographical study. Not many a researcher has had
the good fortune which has come to the author, and he has
expressed his gratitude-sixty-seven are actually named-to those
who in any way contributed to the ultimate success of his project.
The preface of four-and-a-half pages is brief and to the point;
the table of contents lists twenty-two chapters; the bibliography
lists nearly six pages of manuscripts, periodicals, and printed
sources as primary works, many of which must and no doubt
will be used by other writers on related phases of this general
study on Confederate ordnance. The secondary works comprise
two printed pages, and these, just as the primary works, will
be of help to many a future writer. The index covers twenty-
seven pages and is extremely helpful in locating specific points
of information on persons, places, and other matters.
The jacket of this book quotes the first two paragraphs of
Dr. Vandiver's book, and from the second paragraph I want to
quote the last two sentences as illustrative of the ability of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/550/?rotate=90: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.