The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979 Page: 469
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and frequently tacit understandings" (p. 214). Here we have a major
inclusion in the final third of the work, one illustration being that of
southern literature where "the theme of reconciliation was central" (p.
Still, neither Donald's concept of Reconstruction alone nor the deft
openings and closings of chapters nor the skill in pen portraiture should
be considered more significant than the underlying concept of Liberty
and Union. Without being strident in development of the theme, the
author is dissatisfied with traditional pedagogic divisions of the nine-
teenth century. He not only sees numerous similarities (amid dissimi-
larities) in South and North during the Civil War but also in antelbel-
lum and postbellum America. He is concerned with majority rule and
minority rights-with what Felix Frankfurter termed democratic so-
ciety's central dilemma to "reconcile the conflicting claims of liberty
and authority" (p. viii). If the ideas and actions of Abraham Lincoln
are decidedly present in this discussion, so is the thinking of John C.
Calhoun and of Francis Lieber. And Donald is particularly convincing
when he sets forth the adjustments made and attempted prior to Fort
Sumter and after Appomattox.
Some of Donald's fellow scholars have long deplored the tendency to
take 1865 as a sort of cutoff point, or springboard or line of demarca-
tion, in and out of the classroom. We all know that in recent years 1877
has appeared a far more logical dividing line to constructors of text-
books. But Liberty and Union does even more justice to the sweep of
events-the unimpeded sweep of events one might say-from the 1840os
through the 188os.
It is fortunate that the book is not unduly long, and that the illustra-
tions are unusually attractive, for such factors may mean that numerous
non-experts (as well as specialists) will be drawn into it. But neither
eye-appeal nor relative brevity should for a moment suggest superficial-
ity. Some of the nuances are far more subtle than neophytes will realize.
And, time and again, both the text itself and the first-rate bibliograph-
ical essay provide proof that Donald's contribution is at once thought-
ful and sophisticated.
University of Kentucky
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979, periodical, 1978/1979; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/m1/531/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.