The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973 Page: 493

Book Reviews

but that the author has been there and felt the heavy pulse of the land.
Some More Horse Tradin' is rich fare for people who admire horses.
But those who can't tolerate them, and yet delight in a good story, will
like it and the Beeler illustrations too.
Cerrillos, New Mexico MARC SIMMONS
Booker T. Washington: The Making of a Black Leader, 1856-zgor. By
Louis R. Harlan. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. Pp.
xi + 379. Illustrations, notes, index. $10.95.)
During the last twenty years extensive work on Booker T. Washing-
ton has revealed the complex character and tortured career of the most
prominent black leader of his time. Publicly submissive to the segre-
gated order of late-nineteenth century America, Washington operated
privately to construct a Negro political machine, and still more covertly
to undermine racism through sponsorship of legal challenges to "sep-
arate but equal" practices. Louis Harlan's excellent biography draws
together the diverse strands of Washington's life to present a convincing
and compelling portrait of "the king of a captive people."
On his way "up from slavery," Washington learned the subtle and
demeaning art of gratifying whites while increasing his own power and
standing in the black community. Harlan plausibly concludes that in
time Washington became less conscious of the purposes of his dis-
sembling and played his role for its own sake. Measuring the gains and
losses of this process of concealment, the author indicates that Washing-
ton did as much to buttress segregation and ease white consciences as
he did to improve the lot of black people. It is part of Harlan's skill to
suggest how costly and wasteful was this diversion of his subject's talent
for leadership into an accommodation and submission to white suprem-
acy. Few episodes speak more eloquently of the folly and stupidity of
segregation as a public policy than the efforts of Washington to satisfy
the ceaseless craving of American society at the turn of the century for
approval of its racist course. With its thorough research, clear narrative,
and judicious tone, Louis Harlan's study brings the tragedy of Booker
T. Washington and his time into painfully clear focus.

University of Texas, Austin



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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973, periodical, 1973; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.