The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 310
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
American past (there were twenty-five various editions) ; the
many facets of his extraordinarily long career; the part he played
in intellectual development and political struggles from the time
of Andrew Jackson to the time of Benjamin Harrison; his
contributions to formal and informal education, in the populari-
zation of continental literature and attitudes, and to the de-
velopment of a tradition of gracious living --and given the
almost unmanageable mass of Bancroft papers and the abun-
dance of contemporary comments upon the man and his work -
it is amazing that the complex and fascinating story of his
career can and has been told with such simplicity, charm, and
Mr. Nye, a product of Oberlin and the University of Wis-
consin graduate school, teaches English at Michigan State
College of Agriculture and Applied Science. Is it ironic that
the definitive interpretation of this Brahmin who was a people's
historian and a politician should come from the Middle West
rather than from the East, and from an English teacher instead
of an historian? Probably not. Probably it only demonstrates
that biography is a hybrid that belongs to none of the academic
categories --and to all of them. Certainly George Bancroft
would not have wished for a biography done with greater in-
tellectual honesty, less pedantry, and more lucidity.
It is a biography that illuminates not merely a man but his
whole physical and intellectual milieu. In Bancroft's case that
is a large territory, chronologically, geographically, intellectual-
ly, and emotionally. This work is notable not only for its subject
but for the skill with which Mr. Nye has unobtrusively written
in what the reader needs to know about diverse topics, the easy
flow of his complex narrative, and his obviously complete but
modest mastery of the materials. The man who reads it will
understand Bancroft; and he will understand the America
of his grandparents.
As a job of bookmaking, the volume is a demonstration of
what can be done, even under wartime limitations. The 350-odd
pages bulk to about the size of a pre-war 100-page volume;
margins are narrow; paper thin-but tough enough and opaque -
and the effect is decidedly good. The book invites reading and
is easy on the eye and light in the hand.
Southern Methodist University
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/328/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.