The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985 Page: 108

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

author describes him as "a transitional governor in an era of
change...." (p. 197)
After his second term Ross became president of the Agricultural
and Mechanical College of Texas. He oversaw a rapid increase in en-
rollment and developed new programs at the school before his death
in 1898. Benner judges him a versatile leader whose greatest success
came in education.
The author offers a readable volume based on thorough research.
A reliance on older secondary sources does produce a few debatable
descriptions of Reconstruction events. Some issues might have been
probed more critically, such as the relation between Ross, George
Clark, the railroad attorney who managed his gubernatorial cam-
paigns, and the issue of railroad regulation. Joseph D. Sayers and
Samuel W. T. Lanham, not Ross, provided Texas with its last ex-
Confederate governors. Yet these are minor limitations in what should
become the standard biography of Sul Ross.
Texas Tech University ALWYN BARR
Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890-z952.
By Stephen E. Ambrose. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983.
Pp. 637. Foreword, photographs, notes, acknowledgments, bibli-
ography, index. $22.95.)
The effort of historians in recent years to rehabilitate the reputation
of Dwight D. Eisenhower has focused largely on his presidency, not
on his earlier career. Stephen E. Ambrose has now remedied that de-
ficiency with the first half of a projected two-volume biography. Trac-
ing Eisenhower's life down to the election of 1952, Ambrose concen-
trates on his personality and growth as a human being, first as a boy
growing up in turn-of-the-century Kansas, then as a career army of-
ficer, a devoted husband and father, a military leader who became a
hero in his fifties, and finally as a reluctant presidential candidate.
While the author makes no secret of his admiration for his subject,
he is able to show why Eisenhower was so successful. The personal
qualities-the infectious grin, the honesty and candor, above all the
optimism that flowed from his supreme sense of self-confidence-were
more important than his practical intellect or his intuitive grasp of
politics. Ike's British wartime rival, Bernard L. Montgomery, summed
it up best when he commented, "He has the power of drawing the
hearts of men towards him as a magnet attracts the bit of metal. He
merely has to smile at you, and you trust him at once" (p. 273).


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985, periodical, 1984/1985; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.