The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 713
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188os to 192o. The study includes broad coverage of the most important educa-
tional issues of the day. By including a discussion on education for African Amer-
icans and women, the author also discusses how southern educators during the
Progressive Era perpetuated traditional divisions of race, sex, and class.
During the era most southern schools were slighted by their state legislators
who fought to keep their tight fists on educational budgets. Without adequate
funding, progress came most slowly. And, of course, black institutions usually re-
ceived only the "crumbs" of state appropriations. Further, schooling for blacks re-
mained based on the Tuskegee model that stressed industrial education, for
whites expected African Americans to supply the "muscle" of the South's rising in-
dustrial complex, to remain the "mudsill" on which the southern economy was
built. Likewise, educators of women were most careful not to violate "convention"
when it came to the woman's primary place as the defender of children, the
home, and the South's traditional cultural life.
In addition to his broad coverage of education in the South, the author delves
into "micro-history" by specifically focusing on four university presidents and
their institutions: Charles Dabney of the University of Tennessee; Samuel C.
Mitchell of the University of South Carolina; Walter B. Hill of the University of
Georgia; and Edwin Alderman of the University of Virginia. Dennis explains how
these administrators managed to professionalize their schools and how they-and
their faculties-developed a social role by becoming servants of their states by of-
fering public programs and expert advice on everything from the common
schools to public health to highway construction. The presidents focused on
building realistic bridges between northern philanthropists and southern intel-
lectuals and on developing utilitarian schooling that would invigorate the South
through technological progress.
All the administrators covered by Dennis had political troubles from beginning
to end. Notably, President Mitchell at South Carolina had to withstand a concert-
ed political attack by Coleman L. Blease who was elected governor in 1910. He ex-
ploited the South Carolinians' race and class antagonisms. He accused Mitchell of
lobbying the Peabody Education Fund to divert money meant for white women to
African Americans. Blease vetoed Mitchell's budgets on occasion and complained
that the university produced inferior graduates when compared to private institu-
tions like Wofford College. The governor also charged that Mitchell's faculty
members spent their summers on vacations to Europe at the expense of the state's
taxpayers. In the end, Mitchell was forced out of his job. The other educators
faced similar problems in their respective states. Indeed, Dabney eventually gave
up and fled the South.
Although Dennis has praise for the presidents for modernizing their universi-
ties, he points out that the administrators failed to generate the type of economic
progress that they had envisioned for Dixie. The "real" New South's birth had to
await the developments of the New Deal, World War II, and the Civil Rights move-
Oklahoma State University
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/769/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.