The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 443
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service in the House of Representatives and in the Senate of
the United States, covering a period of approximately thirty
years, 1893 to 1923, with one brief respite. During this period
of more than a quarter of a century, he took a tremendous
interest in the affairs of the House and Senate so that his
biographer was forced to treat of countless subjects, and con-
sequently many of them inadequately. Witness the long list of
subjects in which Williams interested himself, some of which,
if treated adequately, would require a volume: imperialism;
tariff (from Wilson-Gorman to Fordney-McCumber) ; annex-
ation of the Philippines; trust question; foreign affairs (from
Spanish American War through World War I); war debts
and pensions; and internationalism. Williams was a good de-
bater, and when any of these questions were being debated, he
was in the thick of the fray, often speaking extemporaneously.
He made his speeches when opportunity arose and then studied
the questions later. There are hundreds of his speeches on
record, and it appears that his biographer felt obligated to
quote from each one of them as there is an abundance of quoted
In spite of source handicaps, the author of John Sharp Williams
had the genius to create from almost illegible manuscripts and
dry, dingy Congressional records a real personage,, a lover of
books and culture, a loyal friend, a hard worker, a good
speaker, a home-lover, a doting grandfather, a humorist, a be-
liever in practical religion, and a lover of nature.
The style of the book is interesting, the format attractive,
and the type readable. The book, however, is cluttered with many
citations which might well have been omitted. For instance,
there are six references to the same source on two pages (pp.
88, 89) each within five pages of the other. The author has
thoroughly exhausted the sources for material about Williams,
and his biography may be considered definitive unless other
sources are unearthed. This is indeed a valuable and satisfactory
work, though one may wish that this statesman, a member
of Congress for more than a quarter of a century, and now
the subject of a five-hundred-page biography, might have had
his name attached to some important bit of legislation of his day.
San Marcos State College
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/487/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.