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2010 Phi Alpha Theta

BOOK REVIEWS
EDITORIAL OFFICE: Elliott Hall IV, Ohio Wesleyan University;
Delaware, OH 43015. Telephone: 740-368-3642. Facsimile: 740-368-3643.
E-mail Address: brhistor@owu.edu
Web Address: http://go.owu.edu/~brhistor

EDITOR
Richard Spall
Ohio Wesleyan University

REGIONAL SUB-EDITORS

Douglas R. Bisson Richard B. Allen


(Early Modern Europe) (Africa, Middle East, and South Asia)
Belmont University Framingham State College
Helen S. Hundley Betty Dessants
(Russia and Eastern Europe) (United States Since 1865)
Wichita State University Shippensburg University
Jose C. Moya Paulette L. Pepin
(Latin America) (Medieval Europe)
University of California at Los Angeles University of New Haven
Susan Mitchell Sommers Richard Spall
(Britain and the Empire) (Historiography)
Saint Vincent College Ohio Wesleyan University
Sally Hadden Peter Worthing
(United States) (East Asia and the Pacific)
Florida State University Texas Christian University

STUDENT EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS


SENIOR EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS
Kaleigh Felisberto Kara Reiter
Abraham Gustavson Eric Francis
Neill McGrann
Kristina Fitch Celia Baker Drew Howard
Max Simon Amadea Weber Jeffrey OBryon
Lily Strumwasser Greg Stull Chris Heckman

Word Processing: Laurie George

hisn_ 625..726
626 THE HISTORIAN

AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Gender and Genocide in Burundi: The Search for Spaces of Peace in the Great Lakes
Region. By Patricia O. Daley. (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 2007.
Pp. xx, 268. $65.00.)

Race, class, gender, militarism, and imperialism are some of the dominant con-
cepts in the study of modern history and politics; the author of this book attempts
to use the intersectionality of these approaches to explain the rise of the
genocidal state in Burundi (7). The author notes that traditional realist explana-
tions and prescriptions tend to emphasize an oppressive stability that ignores
social justice and reproduces the conditions for genocidal politics. Peace is often
seen as a return to the status quo rather than transformative of the existing
exploitive relationships. This is particularly relevant to the study of Burundi,
which, despite avoiding the spectacular genocide of nearby Rwanda in the 1990s,
has experienced intermittent outbreaks of overt genocidal violence and near
constant genocidal politics. It is fair to say that Burundians live in constant fear of
genocide, so an intersectionality approach has great appeal.
This ambitious agenda is dampened by overbroad conceptualization, theori-
zation, and analysis. For example, genocidal violence is described as including all
direct or structural violence relating to group membership impacting the well-
being of the individual or a group. Theoretically, history, historiography, psychol-
ogy, political structure, sociology, economics, and international politics all are
identified as contributing factors to genocide. Because the theory fails to focus the
analysis on any particular area as a primary culprit, the book attempts to identify
a myriad of contributors to genocide: capitalist exploitation, politicians exploiting
group loyalties, superficial democratization, gendered violence in both war and
peace, colonialism, international humanitarian organizations, etc. Patricia O.
Daley does an admirable job of sketching the contours of these massive problems
related to Burundi, but one wonders why all Africans are not experiencing
genocidal politics since these are all too common phenomena.
The quest for peace suggested in the authors subtitle may seem like a false
hope to many readers; it calls for the transformation of the genocidal state, the
institution of emancipatory politics, the promotion of genuine nonmilitarized and
nonpatriarchal democracy and regional citizenship. Though these are all laudable
(and perhaps necessary), the author suggests no formula to produce these results.
This suggests what the reviewer found to be a weakness in the book. The
author seems well grounded in both feminist theory and the politics of Burundi
(having evidently conducted interviews with refugees and some elites) but leaves
BOOK REVIEWS 627

the reader wishing that more of these interviews were incorporated as evidence for
her arguments. This would have been a particularly powerful approach in a book
that is calling for empowerment of average Africans.
Ultimately the book is disappointing because it fails to suggest how to move in
the direction indicated; it suggests that revolutionary change is needed and incre-
mental change is insignificant but does not suggest how this will come about.
Perhaps it is unfair to expect academics to provide such a pragmatic formula, but,
in the end, reading this study leaves one with a sense of despair for the future of
the people of the Great Lakes region.
Gallaudet University David R. Penna

Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success. By Christopher M. Davidson. (New York, N.Y.:


Columbia University Press, 2008. Pp. viii, 376. $32.50.)

In this book, the author chronicles Dubais rise from a small fishing and pearling
community to one of the twentieth centurys seemingly great economic success
stories. It is more than a historical survey, however; in addition to providing
a relatively detailed overview of Dubais recent history and economic
developmentone based largely on the laissez-faire policies pursued by its
rulersthe author addresses the problems inherent in such development, both in
terms of its prospective long-term sustainability and its impact on the sheikhdoms
political stability. Indeed, it is this latter component that makes this work par-
ticularly worthwhile, not only for those interested specifically in Dubai, but also
those wishing to understand better the impact of globalization on the Middle East
and developing regions in general.
Christopher M. Davidson argues that Dubais economic development has
largely depended on a political stability achieved through what has constituted an
unwritten ruling bargain between rulers and nationals. The defining compo-
nent of this bargain has entailed the distribution of Dubais wealthderived
initially from oil, but more recently from other rent-generating activitiesamong
the national population. Ironically, Davidson argues that Dubais political sta-
bility is currently threatened by the very economic success it helped underpin. In
addition to breeding among the national population an uncompetitive rentier
mentality, it has threatened Dubais national identity, something evinced, among
other things, by the undermining of national values and customs, even the use of
the Arabic language, in deference to the large expatriate population that has
come to take up residence there (178). Possibly of greater consequence, according
to Davidson, has been Dubais growing dependency on foreign economies.
628 THE HISTORIAN

Foreign interest and investment depends on continued political stability; as a


consequence, Dubais economic success has become increasingly vulnerable to
even the perception of political volatility, whether in the sheikhdom, or in the
region as a whole.
This monograph is a first-rate piece of scholarship, and provides a wealth of
information and analysis about Dubai. That it is well researched goes without
question, something perhaps best reflected in the numerous interviews conducted
by the author with long-standing residents of Dubai. One criticism might be that
Davidson tries to provide too much detail. This becomes most evident in the glut
of Arabic names that crop up from time to time, often presented in their full form;
even those familiar with the Arabic language will occasionally find that such
incidences obscure more than clarify. This is a minor detail in the end, and in any
event, Davidsons work was likely never intended for a broad audience. As one
might expect with such a work, the style is much too erudite for the more casual
reader, which is a shame in a way, as the story it tells is an interesting one, and,
as already noted, of relevance even to those not necessarily interested in Dubai for
its own sake.
University of Illinois at Springfield Erik Eliav Freas

A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire. By M. Skr Hanioglu. (Princeton, N.J.:
Princeton University Press, 2008. Pp. xiii, 241. $29.95.)

This is a unique and remarkable study of the closing century of the Ottoman
Empire by the scholar best qualified to lay out the salient and relevant aspects of
a decaying empire and unsatisfactory attempts to rectify and firmly place it in the
twentieth century of the Western world. The author, mindful of it being a most
cosmopolitan state, refers to the years between 1789 and 1918 specifically as
marked by incredible change in all aspects and strata of the multifarious structure
of Ottoman society.
Although he does not ignore the standard historical treatments of the subjects,
the author focuses on the broad historical trends and processes rather than
dwelling on other than relevant single events. The emphasis, as designed by M.
Skr Hanioglu, is to treat this turbulent period of the empire on the broad
historical trends as he examines the imperial struggle to centralize the ruling
process against the opposition of local rulers, developing national trends among
the Muslim and non-Muslim millets, which had turned to the Western experience
and support to dislodge loyalty to the center in Istanbul. Foreign powers, specifi-
cally the French, British, and Russians, as well as Protestant missionaries, seized
BOOK REVIEWS 629

this trend among minorities to promote their own imperial designs against the
Ottoman entity by offering protection and utilizing them to promote their own
imperial agenda.
In addition to the political and imperial distractions and different attempts to
contain them, the author broadens his discussion to include the socioeconomic
changes and the varying Ottoman responses to address the challenges conditioned
thereby. Most important is the ongoing process to modernize the empire in the
inherited context of the inherent values imparted to it by its deep roots in the
Islamic past. As noted, he brings Ottoman society marvelously to life in all its
facetscultural, diplomatic, intellectual, literally, militarily, and political. In the
process, he has recourse to archival and firsthand accounts of the events and
personalities discussed. The most significant approach followed by Hanioglu is
full reliance on accounts by Turkish and Ottoman scholars rather than relying on
postimperial nationalist narratives other than Western accounts with disjointed
treatment of Ottoman realities.
The illustrations that the author includes are relevant to what he describes and
derive from Ottoman collections of the period. The maps that are utilized further
clarify the status of the provinces of the empire during this turbulent period of its
history. The list of sources is amazing as are the bibliography and other pertinent
references. Without a doubt or reservation, this brief history is must reading for
scholars and students of Ottoman history, and the author is to be commended for
his excellent approach to the study of this period, for this reviewer cannot think
of any other scholar better equipped intellectually to analyze and place it in the
proper perspective for a meaningful understanding of this critical phase of an
empire on the verge of disintegration.
University of Minnesota Caesar E. Farah

The Oil Hunters: Exploration and Espionage in the Middle East. By Roger Howard.
(London, England: Hambledon Continuum, 2008. Pp. xiv, 210. $26.95.)

On May 26, 1908, oil gushed from well No. 1 at Masjid-i Suleiman in southern
Iran, and the race for Middle East oil was on. As Roger Howard observes in this
study, even trained and experienced experts had doubted there was oil anywhere
in the area in commercial quantities. There were adventurous and intuitive explor-
ers, however, who defied the odds, following either their gut instincts or the slim
leads that had been hinted at by ancient historians or more recent occasional
travelers. In this timely book, the author tells the story of these hardy, intrepid,
determined, and often eccentric figures and fills in gaps in historians knowledge
630 THE HISTORIAN

of how and why oil concessions were won in Iran, Mesopotamia (present-day
Iraq), Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
The oil hunters overcame enormous obstacles and the skepticism of their own
governments in the quest for oil. They often had to deal with hazardous terrain;
a lack of infrastructure; ungodly weather; and the difficulty of transporting the
necessary equipment. Moreover, they faced the hostility and suspicion of local
inhabitants and tribesmen, to say nothing of the rulers involved, which makes
their fortitude and single-mindedness even more impressive. Concessions were
hard won and often, after having been won, were withdrawn. Nevertheless, as
Howard notes, the oil hunters contributed to the development of the big oil
companies that continue to dominate the scene today; they proved the fallacy of
conventional wisdom by their independence of mind; and they provided a lesson
for experts who may be concerned about whether the moment of peak oil has
arrived.
Howard traces the profound changes that occurred in the Middle East in the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; highlights the British-Russian-
German rivalry in the area, especially before the First World War; and proceeds to
the cautious entry of the United States into the Middle East that resulted in
Standard Oil of Californias oil concession in Saudi Arabia in the interwar period.
The most entertaining parts of the book, however, are Howards descriptions of
the geologists and explorers themselves, men like Frank Knox DArcy, Calouste
Gulbenkian (Mr. 5 Percent), and Harry St. John Philby. Even more fascinating are
figures like Arnold Wilson, who reappears throughout the book as a major player;
William Richard Williamson, a convert to Islam who became known as Hajji
Williamson; and Charles Crane of the plumbing company, one half of the famous
World War I King-Crane Commission and great philanthropist, who won the
favor of Ibn Saud. The explorer who seems almost to steal the show in Howards
telling, however, is Frank Holmes, a middle-aged New Zealander, who won the oil
concessions for Bahrain and Kuwait. He first turned up in the region not knowing
a word of Arabic and posing as a butterfly collector, ostensibly hoping his
butterfly net would avoid rousing the suspicions of rival oil companies, although
no one was really fooled.
Howard has made good use of oil company archives, as well as the many
available memoirs of the protagonists themselves, to illustrate the intrigues, fail-
ures, and triumphs of the oil hunters. He has done admirable research to present,
often in great detail, the progress of a particular bid for a concession or drilling
rights. The book would benefit from photographs and perhaps a few more maps.
Those at the front inexplicably omit Qatar and al-Hasa, as well as other important
BOOK REVIEWS 631

areas mentioned in the text. There are also some idiosyncratic spellings, such as
Rachit, for Resht, in Iran. On the whole, though, The Oil Hunters is useful,
informative, and full of colorful details about the quite unusual individuals who
were responsible for the discovery of oil in a region that now plays a pivotal role
in world affairs.

University of Missouri, Kansas City Carla L. Klausner

Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East. By Karl E. Meyer and Shareen
Blair Brysac. (New York, N.Y.: W.W. Norton & Co., 2008. Pp. 507. $27.95.)

This work by the husband-and-wife journalist team of Karl E. Meyer and Shareen
Blair Brysac follows up on their earlier study of Western intervention in the region
of Central Asia, Tournament of Shadows [1999]. Built around the biographies of
key individuals who helped to shape (or more frequently, misshape) the regions
political and economic future, they outline a number of key moments in modern
Middle Eastern history from the closing decades of the nineteenth century up to
the present. In seeking to recover, critically but empathetically, the mentality that
propelled Europes penetration of the Middle East, the authors argue that the
great and decisive choices made by European and American leaders have been
driven time and again by lofty motives; inadequate information; feckless fore-
thought; the influence of ambitious, forward party subordinates; and religious
sentiment (13, 28).
In the first three-quarters of the book, the authors deal primarily with notable
British statesmen and functionaries whose decisions impacted the Middle East
between the 1870s and the 1950s, beginning with Prime Minister William Glad-
stone, during whose tenure the British occupied Egypt. Familiar faces follow, such
as the oft-examined T. E. Lawrence and his involvement with the Arab Revolt in
World War I; Gertrude Bell and Lord Cromer and their nation-building efforts in
Iraq and Egypt; and Sir John Glubb and his involvement in the construction of the
state of Jordan and its military forces. The narrative of these careers, frequently
drawn from the personal papers or correspondence of the figures themselves, often
makes for colorful and enlightening reading. Most striking is the degree to which
these figures often clashed with each other over the best ways to approach the
region and its people. For example, Harry St. John Bridger Philby even turned
against Great Britains government to champion the cause of Ibn Saud and the
nascent Saudi Kingdom, nominally converting to Islam in the process. Despite
this diversity of approaches, however, the authors contend that in each case, the
632 THE HISTORIAN

goals of British policymakers fell victim to unintended consequences that undid or


sullied their legacy.
The authors conclude with biographies of three post-World War II American
figures: Kermit Roosevelt, a key figure in the 1953 coup detat in Iran that
returned the Shah to power; Miles Copeland, a CIA agent involved in the first
of a series of recurring coups in Syria between 1949 and 1970; and Paul Wol-
fowitz, whose role in championing the United States ill-advised occupation of
Iraq in 2003 still makes headlines in the present. Meyer and Brysac convinc-
ingly present these American figures as a continuation or repetition of the mis-
takes of the past, concluding that the many real and would-be kingmakers
erred not through malice or ignorance, but through excess of ambition. These
proconsuls and paladins undertook . . . to do the impossible for the ungrateful
(423).
Yet this final statement sums up both the strengths and weaknesses of Meyer
and Brysacs study. Though readers new to the subject will gain a great deal of
insight on the mentalities of the colonial and postcolonial power brokers that
created the nation-states of the modern Middle East, this conclusion inadvert-
ently adopts that very colonial mentality by downplaying the perspectives and
the internal dynamics of the region and its peoples. The authors own presen-
tation of the history of these figures, contrary to their conclusions, suggests
strong evidence of both malice and ignorance. Moreover, suggesting the regions
peoples were ungrateful is a poor choice of words; it assumes that they had
something for which to be grateful in the first place. Since the ultimate goal of
the colonizers had always been to secure their own interests first, most often
with respect to the natural resources of the region (such as oil), securing an
anti-Communist stance during the Cold War, or facilitating the growth of a
Zionist population in the region, this peculiar slant mars what might otherwise
be an intriguing study. This suggests that Kingmakers will achieve its greatest
value only when read in conjunction with other studies that fill in the missing
perspectives of the colonized.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas John J. Curry

The Resolution of African Conflicts: The Management of Conflict Resolution and


Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Edited by Alfred Nhema and Paul Tiyambe Zeleza.
(Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2008. Pp. xv, 207. $24.95.)

This edited volume examines the strategies taken by African and international
peace actors in resolving conflict, as well as the challenge of postconflict
BOOK REVIEWS 633

reconstruction in the continent. Alfred Nhema introduces the study by positing


that African conflicts can only be resolved if parties have confidence in media-
tors and their strategies and if the sources of conflict, which are rooted in
colonialism and the lack of democratic practice, are addressed. But democratic
practice could equally serve to heighten conflict in war-torn societies if mis-
handled. This point is underscored by Khabele Matlosa, who argues, using
examples from the Southern African Development Community, that multiparty
systems backed by elections can either reduce or increase conflict. In support of
Matlosa, Christof Hartman writes that, contrary to previous beliefs that
institutional reforms are prerequisites for successful African democracies, the
current dispensation has tended to focus more on sound leadership and the
quality of political elites. Charles Manga Fombad makes an even stronger case
by arguing that the absence of constitutionalism in post-1990 African consti-
tutions has undermined the practice of democracy and its institutions in many
African countries. He observes that constitutionalism will be realized in Africa
only when there is effective oversight on government powers as well as assur-
ances that guarantee constitutional consistency and predictability. With effective
oversight, trust, tolerance, and solidarity, Ursula Scheidegger writes, the inter-
action of social capital with democratic institutions through the creation of
avenues for the contestation of power would be beneficial for a society such as
South Africa.
The tendency for African conflicts to spill over entire regions requires a regional
approach to peace and security and a sense of shared responsibilities in conflict
management. The idea of shared responsibilities is reiterated by Kizito Sabala
et al., who claim that despite the socioeconomic and political challenges faced by
the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the disruptive influence of the
Somali conflict on the Horn warrants member states to act in concert in order to
attain collective security. To Victor A. O. Adetula, the successful intervention of the
Cease-fire Monitoring Group of the Economic Community of West African States
in Liberia and Sierra Leone, at a time when the Great Powers were uninterested in
the continent, is testament to the new idealism of shared responsibilities. Working
in tandem with the African Union (AU), Adetula is convinced that African regional
organizations would benefit from the participation of civil society as they reflect on
the new idealism, especially as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had failed
to resolve Africas problems. In fact, P. Godfrey Okoth points out that the OAUs
principles of sovereignty and nonintervention, established to promote state secu-
rity, did not promote peace because it was difficult to alter provisions of the groups
charter. The AU has taken steps in its Constitutive Act to establish functioning
634 THE HISTORIAN

organs responsible for coordinating and harmonizing policies geared toward peace
and unity. One such organ is the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS). But
the effectiveness of the CEWS, Jakkie Cilliers argues, would have to depend on the
establishment of a systematic and uniform collection and analysis of shared data,
the inclusion of civil society and regional organizations, and the use of electronic
systems for data manipulation.
The signing of peace and cease-fire agreements, paving the way for postconflict
reconstruction, does not necessarily signal a return to normalcy. Examining the
implications of the May 2004 peace agreement between the Government of Sudan
and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement on the public sector of Southern
Sudan, Idris Salim El Hassan writes that the continuous presence of militias in
Sudan during the postconflict stage; the absence of public administration, educa-
tion, and health facilities; and language barriers minimized the role southerners
could play in the new public service anticipated by the agreement. Meanwhile,
Brazo Mazula et al. reckon that the 1992 cease-fire agreement in Mozambique
between Frelimo and Renamo marked the end of hostilities but not the end of
political conflict. Using examples from the districts of Changara and Montepuez
to discuss the difficulty of political cohabitation between parties formerly
enmeshed in military conflict, the authors argue that the challenge to democracy
in these two districts lies in overcoming the problem of intolerance between
Frelimo and Renamo ex-fighters. In Uganda, prosecutions, as opposed to a return
to normalcy, were the issue at stake. Kasaija Philip Apuuli writes that the decision
by the International Criminal Court to prosecute officials of the Lords Resistance
Army (LRA) for crimes against civilians in Northern Uganda met with resistance
from some Ugandan factions who objected on grounds that such prosecutions
would heighten LRA atrocities and stifle the prospects of peace. Apuuli does not,
however, indicate whether government troops accused of committing similar
crimes would also be prosecuted.
A consistent theme in the book is the idea that adequate legal provisions, sound
electoral systems, and shared responsibilities between local, national, and regional
institutions could enhance the management and resolution of African conflicts.
The book is easy to read and the arguments are strong, but come across in a gentle
and comprehensible manner. Its contribution to the current debate on conflict in
Africa cannot be overemphasized. It is a must-read for all professors and graduate
students of African conflicts, researchers, policymakers, statesmen, elites, and all
those interested in peace in the continent.
CUNY, College of Staten Island Emmanuel M. Mbah
BOOK REVIEWS 635

The Unmaking of the Middle East: A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands. By
Jeremy Salt. (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2008. Pp. ii, 478.
$29.95.)

The audience for this study is the general reader who feels the need to know more
about the Middle East than the mainstream media are able or willing to tell (5).
The book is thus an accessible narrative history of the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman
successor states, and Iran from the nineteenth century to 2007. Jeremy Salts
purpose in the study is to expose the violent nature of European and American
policy in the region and to challenge popular accounts that place the blame for this
violence not on Western interests, but on Arab or Muslim irrationality or hatred.
As such, the book is marketed as a corrective to the work of writers like Bernard
Lewis, Samuel Huntington, and Francis Fukuyamaa general history that will
give newspaper readers an alternative account of the major political events in the
modern Middle East.
Salt divides the book into four sections: Why Do They Hate Us?; Sacred
Trusts; The American Ascendancy; and The Bush Wars. The first of these
presents many of the concepts with which he will be engaging. There is, for
example, an analysis of the amorphousness of notions like The West and a
useful discussion of the term civilization. From there, Salt launches into his
narrative of Western policy in the region. He addresses, for example, the mandate
system, the creation of Israel, the Suez Crisis, Israels wars with its neighbors, the
Iran-Iraq war, and the U.S. invasions of Iraq. He concludes by arguing that as far
as the impact of the West goes, over the past two centuries . . . civilization,
[W]estern values, and democracy have been the mask and brute force the true
face (356357).
The Unmaking of the Middle East is not a book for specialists. Scholars of the
region will not find much that is new in the exclusively English-language source
material, and it is unlikely that most will be surprised to learn that the analyses of
Lewis or Huntington leave something to be desired. Since Salt is not primarily
concerned with other scholars, however, this is not a major criticism. A more
serious difficulty might arise if the book were assigned in an undergraduate
classroom. Although Salt does a beautiful job of appealing to newspaper readers
on the terms that have been provided for them, his own acceptance of these terms
has led to a simplified account of Western violence that is not hugely different
methodologically from existing journalistic accounts of Arab hatred. The Arab
world, undifferentiated, remains a monolithand inclusive of non-Arab Iran and
Anatolia. Islamic law remains something that poses problems for women (332,
636 THE HISTORIAN

336). Determining truth remains a straightforward task (317). And modern


Middle Eastern history remains meaningful only when framed within an invoca-
tion of the events of September 11, 2001 (5, 358). Whereas a concerned
undergraduate might be persuaded by the book to choose Salts politics over those
of Huntington, the assumptions that underlie both will remain unexamined.
Although the text is an excellent introduction to the history of the region,
therefore, it might best be assigned in conjunction with other books of a more
critical bent.
University of Massachusetts, Boston Ruth Miller

THE AMERICAS

Conflict and Commerce on the the Rio Grande: Laredo, 17551955. By John A.
Adams Jr. (College Station, Tex.: Texas A&M Press, 2008. Pp. xiv, 286. $29.95.)

Across the Americas, scholars have returned to the topic of frontier regions. This
renewal of interest comes not as a revival of the Turner Thesis but rather as a
demonstration of expanding interest in areas where cultures and communities
competed for space, resources, and power. The city of Laredo, located near an
important river crossing, would at first glance seem to be an ideal topic for
historians researching cultural crossroads. Settled for centuries, Laredos history
includes Native American, Spanish, Mexican, as well as Texan turns.
John A. Adams Jr. presents a sweeping history of the commercial foundations
of Laredo from the colonial era to recent times. He asserts that Laredos proximity
to one of the better locations for fording the Rio Grande has put it at the center
of the regions history. With chapters on its initial settlement; the changes it
experienced in two wars; its expansion during trade, agricultural, and mineral-
driven boom times; and its expansion, bust, and recovery during and after two
world wars, Adams hopes to show how Laredos history parallels and illuminates
the history of Mexico and Texas.
The author presents a clear narrative. Given the span of time covered and the
number of major events that Adams ties into his investigation of Laredos devel-
opment, the book seems brief. Adams has included in the books appendices tables
on population, a list of banks in operation between 1880 and 2005, a comparison
of English and Spanish measures, currency valuations, a glossary of terms, and the
text of the song The Streets of Laredo. These serve the needs and interest of the
reader in varying degrees.
BOOK REVIEWS 637

The text will leave many unsatisfied. Adams tends to focus on one or two major
companies or initiatives and does not connect thoroughly the commercial condi-
tions of one era with those of subsequent eras. The chapters lack balance. In the
chapters on Spanish and Mexican periods, he places Laredos slow development
within general discussions of colonial and national trends and events. In these
chapters, Adams relies more on secondary material and demonstrates a lack of
familiarity with the most recent research. The coverage of Laredos second
century, which began in 1885, is better, but Adams decided not to treat in any
detail the years after 1955, when the city more than tripled in size and the volume
of trade exploded.
Adams essentially presents a description of how important historical events in
Mexican, Texan, and U.S. history affected Laredo. This might be of interest to
those who wish to compare cities or regions during the Independence Era, the
wars that separated Texas from Mexico and made it part of the United States, or
the Great Depression. Those interested in a detailed business history of Laredo or
a text that links the city and its history to new schools of historical research on the
West or frontiers should look elsewhere.
California State Polytechnic University Daniel K. Lewis

Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen.
By Christopher Capozzola. (New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2008. Pp.
ix, 319. $35.00.)

This book examines the recalibration of citizens rights and obligations during the
mobilization of the World War I home front. The author offers a multitude of
everyday acts of political expression to give life to his argument that the state
appropriated citizens community voluntarism for its own ends. For example, one
story explores the intersection of labor and patriotism at the local level by
showing how breaking a peachworkers strike in San Francisco became a wartime
patriotic duty taken up with gusto by University of California students and the
middle-class clubwomen of the Oakland Defense Unit.
Christopher Capozzola faithfully ties the unlikely cannery story, as well as his
other rich vignettes, to his thesis of change in citizens prewar rights and obliga-
tions. Before the war, citizens expressed their sense of collective identity while
accomplishing practical tasks in voluntary organizations, such as clubs, schools,
churches, parties, and unions that structured public life by providing social
services, regulating the economy, and managing community norms. In the absence
of federal institutions, Capozzola argues that the voluntary associations
638 THE HISTORIAN

sometimes acted as the state (7). State intervention during World War I, includ-
ing administration of the draft, mobilization of womens labor, and policing the
home front, appropriated the authority of the local organizations. Drawing on the
strength of citizens obligations to volunteer, the state made the process of vol-
untarism more coercive, using tactics that ranged at the local level from gossip to
lynching and at the federal level from record-keeping to torture. Throughout the
war, however, the battle over coercion gave rise to a language of rights, in which
law became an important tool for challenging state-sponsored violence. In effect,
citizenship and law replaced citizenship and political obligation.
In six central chapters, Capozzola examines wartime obligations, coercive
enforcement, and rights-based resistance. Using philosophical treatises, selective
service reports, and personal letters of draftees, the first two chapters examine the
1917 draft and the emergence of conscientious objectors. In the third and fourth
chapters, the author juxtaposes the mobilization of womens labor on the home
front with the sometimes horrifically violent coercion against labor activists,
prostitutes, and socialists. In part a reaction to this violence, thinkers, activists
and ordinary Americans called for an alternative vision of citizenship in which
individual rights and liberties trumped the culture of obligation (19). In the final
two chapters, citizens defend their right to challenge government, forging a
tentative and fragmented coalition around the concept of the individual as bearer
of rights such as freethough responsiblespeech. A casualty in the battle, in a
chapter that fits less snugly with the rest of the argument, was the right of German
Americans to maintain a separate civic culture.
Capozzola succeeds in bringing political theory to the ground level, offering a
social history of political theory (8). The engaged writing style and compelling
analysis will make the book useful in advanced undergraduate and graduate
history, political science, and political theory courses alike.
Beloit College Beatrice McKenzie

The Crimes of Womanhood: Defining Femininity in a Court of Law. By A. Cheree


Carlson. (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2009. Pp. 183. $40.00.)

The notion of courtroom trials as political theater is nearly as old as the American
republic, dating to early-nineteenth-century penny papers. It was not until
relatively recently that scholars began to study trials as cultural texts that reveal
how privileged white men created laws that mostly benefitted individuals like
themselves.
BOOK REVIEWS 639

A. Cheree Carlson tackles this overarching theme. As a professor of commu-


nications, however, she examines the evidence from a somewhat different perspec-
tive, aiming to discern how lawyers used narrativestory-tellingto shape the
outcome of trials. Specifically, Carlson looks at how attorneys framed narra-
tives relating to womens roles in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The
result is an intriguing, thought-provoking book, packed with details on a variety
of topics relating to gender ideology.
Trials offer a fruitful venue for study, according to Carlson, because the law has
long served as the arbiter of cultural values (4). Both sides in a courtroom
depend on rhetorical constructs. To convince jurors to see facts their way,
lawyers use touchstonesincluding literary referenceswith which panelists can
identify. However, trials also offer competing narratives. Each side offers its own
version of the story. Jurors choose only one. In doing so, they can either maintain
the status quo or shift the frame of reference and, often unintentionally, begin to
shape a new narrative.
Carlson examines six trials ranging from the 1840s to the 1920s. They took
place in Illinois, New York, Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts. All received
significant media attention; Carlson makes good use of this material and of trial
records. All but one of the women more or less conformed to the ideal of the
virtuous woman, though opposing attorneys attempted to vilify them by
placing them outside this sphere. Interestingly, despite all-male juries, all but
one woman prevailed in court.
Lizzie Borden is the most notorious of Carlsons examples. Prosecutors empha-
sized her questionable behavior following her parents 1892 murder. Her attorney
successfully countered with her charity work as well as her devotion to commu-
nity and to her father. Carlson also examines the 1875 insanity trial of Mary Todd
Lincoln, whose son sought to have her committed for paranoia, depression, and
obsessive shopping. Her attorney successfully argued that tragediesthe deaths of
three sons and her husbandunderstandably led to erratic behavior.
Other, less well-known defendants include a ministers wife whose husband
sought to have her declared insane because she contradicted him; a working-class
woman who killed a man who seduced and then jilted her; and a mulatto whose
husband sought to annul their marriage, claiming she lied to him about her race.
The only woman who lost in court was Ann Lohman, aka Madame Restell. A
New York abortion procurer, her work placed her far outside gender conventions
of her time.
One sour note in an otherwise splendid book is Carlsons occasional tendency
to place her narrative within theoretical constructs crafted by other scholars.
640 THE HISTORIAN

Terms such as burlesque, dramatistic pentad, and instantiations may be


well-accepted rhetorical terms, but they detract from the authors argument and
the fascinating stories she tells.
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Kathleen A. Cairns

The Flash Press: Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York. By Patricia Cline Cohen,
Timothy J. Gilfoyle, and Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz. (Chicago, Ill.: The University
of Chicago Press, in Association with the American Antiquarian Society, 2008. Pp.
278. $20.00.)

This work centers on a collection of nineteenth-century newspapers that became


available to scholars after their 1985 purchase from a private individual by the
American Antiquarian Society. These flash press newspapers were published
between 1841 and 1843 and contain frank discussions of sexuality and prostitu-
tion from a libertine republican perspective. Their content combined tren-
chant critiques of class privilege with endorsements of heterosexual indulgence;
and they supported male sexual prerogative while defending and admiring indi-
viduals of the frail sisterhood of prostitutes (54). The authors of this book seek
to reintroduce researchers to these unique sources, which had been largely
forgotten.
The authors foreground the historians process in their text. They discuss how
these newspapers were preserved since the nineteenth century, and how each of
the three collaborating authors came upon them in the context of other projects.
Ideas about how sources influence the construction of narrative are also promi-
nent. For example, detailed information on the finances of one of these newspa-
pers is seen through the prism of a legal dispute over a promissory note between
one of the editors and a wealthy female entrepreneur. The invitation to consider
the historians process is also reflected in the books structure. It is divided into
two sections, the first being a history of the four main papers that made up the
flash press, and the second a collection of excerpts from these publications,
grouped thematically under such headings as Libertinism, Brothel Life, and
Racism, Anti-Amalgamation. This roughly equal balance between primary and
secondary material reinforces the tendency of the authors to provide not so much
the final interpretation of these sources, but rather to lay out the elements from
which further questions might be formulated.
There are on occasion drawbacks to this approach. To explain the origins of
the flash press, the authors provide biographies of the editors in the Beginnings
chapter, but they leave other issues of overall context unaddressed. The libertine
BOOK REVIEWS 641

republicanism of the flash press is described as a cross between Tom Paine and
the Marquis de Sade, even though the editors of the flash press . . . never explic-
itly invoked Paine or Sade (57). Other precedents might be more direct, such as
that of John Wilkes, the eighteenth-century British rake, newspaper publisher, and
well-known supporter of the colonists cause in the Revolutionary War, but his
legacy is not examined here.
On other issues the authors do a better job of bringing in relevant secondary
material. The book contains an excellent analysis of the use of English libel law in
America and the conflict between it and the First Amendment protections under
the U.S. Constitution as they were understood before the 1873 Comstock Law.
Overall the authors have provided an extremely informative guide to a fasci-
nating body of source material that researchers interested in sexuality, class, and
their representation in the public sphere will want to own. The book could also
easily be incorporated into upper-level undergraduate or graduate research semi-
nars. If the authors have not provided the definitive interpretation of the flash
press, they have certainly put forward the definitive guide to it.
Florida State University Charles Upchurch

Colombia and the United States: The Making of an Inter-American Alliance, 1939
1960. By Bradley Lynn Coleman. (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2008.
Pp. ix, 303. $45.95.)

Since the 1930s, Colombia and the United States have worked together on a wide
range of important international issues. Recently, this has been seen in efforts to
curb the illicit drug trade, cooperate in military training and operations against
left-wing groups within Colombia, and more recently, establish a free trade
agreement. Yet, the long-standing relationship between these two allies has not
received the attention that it deserves, and Bradley Lynn Coleman, the Command
Historian at the U.S. Southern Command in Miami, Florida, aims to correct this
by focusing on the formative stage of U.S.-Colombian relations between 1939
and 1960.
Colemans emphasis on security, diplomacy, and economic matters is conven-
tional compared to recent efforts by Latin Americanists, who have focused more
intently on the cultural history of U.S.-Latin American relations or subaltern
resistance to U.S. policies. Like those studies, however, Coleman finds that Colom-
bia was not a mere pawn of the more powerful United States but that inde-
pendence and interdependence characterized U.S.-Colombian relations, a
valuable corrective to traditional interpretations of U.S.-Latin American relations
642 THE HISTORIAN

(xvi). Coleman arrives at this conclusion because he adopts a Global History


approach. Not only does this entail using archival source materials in Colombia,
the United States, and Great Britain, but it also means viewing the development of
U.S.-Colombian relations as a multinational event (xvi). This method, argues
Coleman, allows him to examine previously underexplored topics, such as Colom-
bias participation in military operations around the world. Colombia provided a
modest number of troops and equipment in the Korean War and peacekeeping
forces in the Middle East during the 1950s. As a result, Colombian military
leaders learned a great deal about international combat operations, but more
importantly, Colombias politicians were able to point to these efforts in order to
justify forging stronger military, diplomatic, and economic ties with the United
States. This conclusion is Colemans strongest contribution.
The book also contains an essay on sources, many of which Coleman has made
available online at the National Security Archive website at George Washington
University (www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv). This will allow scholars, teachers, and high
school and college students a unique opportunity to explore these materials
firsthand. Colemans emphasis on diplomatic, economic, and military connections
leaves plenty of room for future scholars to examine the impact of grassroots
organizations, such as Rotary, on U.S.-Colombian ties or the relationship between
U.S. multinational corporations and Colombian workers.
Coleman makes an exceptional contribution to readers understanding of
U.S.-Colombian relations, and this will not be the last word. Readers should
expect a sequel to this book that covers the crucial role of Colombia in the
Organization of American States and the United Nations, the impact of the Peace
Corps in Colombia, the challenge that Fidel Castro posed to U.S.-Colombian
relations, U.S.-Colombian cooperation in antiterrorism and antidrug operations,
and U.S. government oversight of U.S. corporations in Colombia. As officials from
both countries ponder signing a historic free trade agreement, policymakers and
specialists would do well to read this work.
Jacksonville University Jesse Hingson

Reinventing Richard Nixon: A Cultural History of an American Obsession. By Daniel


Frick. (Lawrence, Kans.: University Press of Kansas, 2008. Pp. xi, 331. $34.95.)

As the only U.S. president to have resigned from office rather than be impeached,
Richard Nixon occupies a special place in American politics and memory. Daniel
Frick observes that Nixon generated a merchandising craze no other president has
matched. There is, for example, the Richard Nixon shower head, as well as
BOOK REVIEWS 643

reproductions of a photograph depicting the Oval Office meeting between Elvis


Presley and Nixon. Unlike other presidential memorabilia, only Nixons continues
to be reproduced and sold.
Frick explores the former presidents popular culture legacy. As a work of
cultural history, he helpfully includes photographs of Nixon memorabilia. To see
a button with Nixons name spelled with a Nazi swastika is to appreciate the
hatred he engendered.
There are limitations in taking a popular culture approach to the study of
history. Readers who have not first consulted the Nixon biographies penned by
Herbert Parmet, Joan Hoff, and Irwin Gellman might not have sufficient knowl-
edge to understand Fricks discussion. Without a grounded historical context,
readers might find novelists who fantasized about going back in time and breaking
the neck of the infant Richard Nixon to be unhinged (144).
Focusing on popular culture is also problematic if what is really being analyzed
is not mass, but rather elite, culture. Indeed, Fricks subtitle, A Cultural History of
an American Obsession, could also be written as A Cultural History of a
Liberal-to-Radical Intellectual Obsession. Most Americans, particularly
working-class whitesthe backbone of the New Deal Democratic coalition
supported Nixon. His chief opponents came from the ranks of Hollywood,
Broadway, the elite media, and the universities. One could also include conserva-
tives who regarded Nixon as a tax-and-spend liberala fact that Frick does not
fully address.
The popular 1970s television comedy All in the Family was meant by producer
Norman Lear to be an indictment of working-class whites like Archie Bunker
who rejected the antiwar and civil rights movements. Lear had hoped to educate
and convert working-class whites to liberalism. Instead, the great majority of
viewers came to identify with Bunkers politically incorrect bluntness. Far from
converting the audience, progressives like Lear inadvertently validated working-
class whites social conservatism. Ultimately, All in the Family says less about the
popular culture view of Nixon and more about the mindset of frustrated progres-
sive elites.
In a telling passage, Frick discusses a contemporary novelist who wrote an
anti-Nixon book that was not widely reviewed and did not sell many copies.
However, the tome generated mostly positive notice, including praise in The New
York Times and a place in Peoples Worth a Look column (128). Frick could
not have provided a better illustration of the disconnect between elite and popular
culture. This passage also underscores the challenge of analyzing mass culture.
The producers and consumers of culture may not share the same values. Further,
644 THE HISTORIAN

the consumers of culture may not arrive at the conclusions the producers intended.
Reinventing Richard Nixon, then, is fundamentally not about Nixons public
image and popular culture legacy. Rather, Fricks book concerns the efforts of
progressives to continue fighting a culture war with a ghost. From this perspective,
Frick has made a valuable contribution to the Nixon scholarship.

Ohio University-Lancaster Kenneth J. Heineman

Rumsfelds Wars: The Arrogance of Power. By Dale R. Herspring. (Lawrence, Kans.:


University Press of Kansas, 2008. Pp. xxiv, 247. $34.95.)

The U.S. global war on terror has produced a cottage industry of scholarship and
investigative journalism intent on examining the root causes of American military
action since 9/11 and its consequences. Rumsfelds Wars almost certainly aspires
to the ranks of viable academic scholarship on par with Andrew Bacevichs The
Limits of Power. Unfortunately, in actual practice, Dale R. Hersprings work veers
toward the worst qualities of tabloid journalism in its treatment of the topic.
Donald Rumsfeld clearly is the most controversial Secretary of Defense since
Robert McNamara. Like his Vietnam-era predecessor, Rumsfelds tenure came at
a time when the United States struggled to redefine national security priorities.
Moreover, like McNamara, Rumsfeld became infamous for the abrasive and
contentious relationship he enjoyed with senior officers, primarily as a result of his
efforts to transform the military into a more effective fighting force.
Rather than address the doctrinal debate that centered upon the concept
of post-Cold War military transformation, Herspring focuses on civil-military
relations within the twenty-first-century Pentagon. This is unfortunate because
instead of analyzing the substantive components of American strategy, the reader
is treated to a chronicle of Rumsfelds arrogant and often high-handed treatment
of subordinates or his conflict with strong military officers such as General Eric
Shinseki. None of this is particularly new or enlightening. Rumsfelds reputation
as an adept bureaucratic infighter stretches back to the Ford administration.
In later chapters of the book, the author asserts that the Iraq War brought
civil-military relations to a crisis point. As the situation in Baghdad and the rest of
the country steadily deteriorated after the initial success of Operation Iraqi
Freedom, Rumsfeld clearly lacked a strategy or the willingness to redraw basic
assumptions made prior to the war. Repeated failures in establishing stability,
a meaningful Iraqi national government, and a workable plan to fight the
insurgency slowly peeled away the secretarys credibility and his standing in
BOOK REVIEWS 645

Washington. Again, this narrative of the wars various turns and its impact on
civilian leadership in the Bush administration follows a well-worn path created by
other authors.
The quality of research in Rumsfelds Wars is one of its greatest problems.
Primary sources beyond personal memoirs are rare. Although ongoing operations
prohibit the declassification of pertinent documents, this reviewer wonders why
the author, a former foreign officer with thirty-two years of experience, had so
little access to the policymaking community. Similarly, references to policy docu-
ments from relevant agencies are sparse. Consequently, the author relies heavily
upon the investigative reporting from individuals such as Bob Woodward or
Thomas Ricks in particular and newspapers in general. It is common for Her-
spring to cite a journalists interview of a source within the Pentagon, a thirdhand
reference that would not pass muster if it were included in an undergraduate
research paper.
Rumsfelds Wars lacks merit as an academic work. Rather than shed a new
perspective on military affairs during the Bush years, it seems content to join a
bandwagon of critics who possess better research and analysis.
Kutztown University Michael D. Gambone

The Making of FDR: The Story of Stephen T. Early, Americas First Modern Press
Secretary. By Linda Lotridge Levin. (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2008. Pp.
538. $27.95.)

When the author, a professor of journalism, arrived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt


Library and announced that she wanted to write a biography of Stephen T. Early,
Roosevelts press secretary for twelve years, the supervising archivist replied, Its
about time. This gap in the voluminous studies of the New Deal is surprising
because Early supplied his boss with vital public relations advice and services.
By using Earlys diary (which dates from 1934 to 1939), personal letters, White
House memos, scrapbooks, and the vast literature on the New Deal to explain the
press secretarys role in FDRs presidency before and after Pearl Harbor, Linda
Lotridge Levin shows that Early was a valuable and loyal political asset for
Roosevelt.
Early was born in Virginia in 1889 and became a very successful reporter for
the United Press, the Associated Press, and, when he was in the military in World
War I, Stars and Stripes. When FDR received the Democratic nomination for vice
president in 1920, he hired Early as his advance man in the electoral campaign. In
1921 Early returned to the Associated Press, but he promised Roosevelt that he
646 THE HISTORIAN

was available to serve him whenever needed. Early had a notable career in the
1920s, breaking the news of President Hardings death in 1923 and covering the
court martial of Colonel William (Billy) Mitchell in 1925. Two years later, Early
resigned his job with the Associated Press and was put in charge of setting up
newsreel operations in Washington, D.C., for Paramount Pictures. With this
resum, it is not surprising that the newly elected Roosevelt appointed Early to be
his press secretary in March 1933.
The author sets out the new public relations system designed by Roosevelt and
Early, which would direct the flow of news from the White House to journalists
in such a way as to increase the publics approval of both FDR and his policies.
The President would hold two regular press conferences each week at hours
beneficial to the morning and afternoon newspapers. Reporters would no longer
be required to submit written questions before press conferences, and FDR prom-
ised not to grant exclusive interviews to favored reporters. Instead, in a very
informal setting, correspondents would gather around Roosevelts desk and ask
him questions. If a question was deemed too sensitive, FDR would reply no
comment, but more often he would provide background and unattributed
information. When the President decided he wanted one of his answers quoted
directly, Early would mimeograph the quote and distribute it to all of the report-
ers. At the end of the first press conference, the correspondents were so pleased
with the new procedures and with FDRs frank discussion concerning the banking
crisis, they applauded.
Levin also documents Earlys efforts to publicize the expanded activities of the
executive branch. During the first two years of the New Deal, sixty new federal
agencies were created. FDRs political strategy was based on contrasting the icy
indifference of Hoover to the victims of the Depression with the compassionate
activism of the New Deal. Roosevelt was constructing a new liberal regime that
was far more dependent on a centralized administrative state to regulate the
economy and provide welfare services than the previous conservative one. In order
for the New Deal to prove it was not just a temporary, emergency response to the
Depression, the new agencies had to publicize their achievements to the public.
To fulfill that mission, Early amplified the publicity capabilities of the executive
agencies. Instead of the previous practice of hiring party hacks for information
offices, Early employed over a hundred journalists, many of whom had recently
lost their jobs, to educate the public and Congress about the expanding activities
of their agencies. These publicity officers flooded newspapers with handouts
composed to make the best possible case that the New Deal was providing relief,
recovery, and reform.
BOOK REVIEWS 647

Roosevelts conservative opponents and the conservative-owned newspapers


argued that FDRs political success was the result of his administrations propa-
ganda skills rather than the appeal of policies such as social security. They argued
that, while Roosevelt justified his welfare policies as providing economic security,
he was actually utilizing foreign ideologies (socialism, fascism) that threatened
traditional American liberties. The Chicago Tribune, for example, compared
Earlys role to that of Joseph Goebbels.
Levin concludes that, despite Roosevelts efforts to use the Washington corre-
spondents to convey his messages to the public, his relations with the press became
more strained in his second and third terms. As the president continued his efforts
to manipulate the press, tensions between its members and the White House
increased, and journalists began to probe more assiduously into such sensitive
issues as his scheme to pack the Supreme Court, his attempted purge of Southern
Democrats in the 1938 primaries, his maneuverings to run for a third term, his
declining health, and, especially, the obligation of the press to the government and
to the public in wartime.
Though Levins book is not as comprehensive as Betty Winfields FDR and the
News Media, she has made a valuable contribution to the literature on the FDR
presidency by highlighting Earlys role in handling the press.
University of Houston John W. Sloan

Queens Court: Judicial Power in the Rehnquist Era. By Nancy Maveety. (Lawrence,
Kans.: University Press of Kansas, 2008. Pp. ix, 194. $29.95.)

In the short period that has passed since the departures of Chief Justice Rehnquist
and Associate Justice OConnor, conflicting conventional wisdoms have
evolved about their roles on the Supreme Court and their legacies. As Chief
(during the last nineteen years of his thirty-three years on the Court), Rehnquist,
in one version, was amiable and efficient, tactically flexible (more concerned with
building and holding a majority than with ideological purity), and less predictably
conservative than anticipated; in short, he was quietly effective. In another
version, his Court was one of failed conservative activism and one in which he
failed to do enough to suppress vituperative, polarized division; his Court spoke
with many voices but rarely was the voice that of Rehnquist; in short, the Court
was chiefless. In one version, OConnor was the Courts most influential justice,
the great centrist who provided the crucial fifth vote in many big cases; she was
pro-business and pro-states rights, thus appealing to the traditional wing of the
Republican Party. She was also pragmatic on social issues (abortion, affirmative
648 THE HISTORIAN

action, death penalty), thus appealing to the left. In short, she was a brave
defender of the Constitution and maybe even a centrist liberal. In another
version, OConnors actual methods were to avoid taking sides when conflicts
arose, to find small facts and small distinctions that allowed her to come out in the
middle; while her methods may have been minimalist, she will leave behind no
theory of interpretation or constitutional doctrine to guide future justices.
Which of these versions is accurate? This book addresses that question. It turns
out, though, that long before making sense of it all, the author shows that the
reality was in fact much more complex than the wisdoms imagined. Nancy
Maveety is a professor of political science and the author of two other major
works on the Supreme Court since the Warren years. This is an excellent, timely,
well-researched, and elegantly written book (graduate schools dont teach people
how to write, so she must have learned that elsewhere).
What do readers learn? Many scholars before Maveety referred to the last
eleven years of the Rehnquist Court [19942005] as chiefless but juricentric,
with OConnor as its Queen (e.g., calling her Queen Sandra and Queen of
the Center). Maveety argues that OConnor was the Queen, but in more ways
than the label has suggested. Yes, she was often the pivotal fifth vote: that is fact.
But Maveety goes on to show that the Rehnquist Court was marked by several
core characteristics and that OConnor was the crucial contributor to each. For
example, policy leadership (i.e., influencing outputs) was diffused; it was situ-
ational, issue sensitive, subdivided, and highly variable. And all this
started during the Burger years before Rehnquist was chief justice and the Queen
developed this approach (she served with Burger for five years) then watched it
mature under Rehnquist. Further, the Rehnquist era was marked by the predomi-
nance (and ultimately the substantive and procedural influence) of separate
opinion writing. Again, this started under Burger, when OConnor was an early,
frequent, and effective practitioner. Obviously, diffused policy leadership and
separate opinion writing add up to judicial individualism.
And Maveety goes on. It is not new to note that the Rehnquist Courts
doctrinal contributions leaned toward conservative balancing. But Maveety
adds that OConnor indulged a practice of power that not only enabled her to
be the Courts most prolific conservative centrist but also produced a Court in
which the most salient characteristic was singular judgment calls by individual
justices. Whether this method of narrow, fact-based decision making and balanc-
ing is normatively good (i.e., restraintist, minimalist, humble) or bad (i.e.,
arrogance cloaked as humility) becomes another question. Maveety, in the end,
imagines these trends as continuing post-OConnor; she even likes to call them
BOOK REVIEWS 649

legacies. That remains to be seen. After all, as she observes early on in the book,
Supreme Court scholars unavoidably reflect on a moving target.
Ohio Wesleyan University William C. Louthan

Weary of War: Life on the Confederate Home Front. By Joe A. Mobley. (Westport,
Conn.: Praeger, 2008. Pp. xiii, 174. $49.95.)

Nothing in U.S. history remains quite as shrouded in myth as the Civil War South.
Students and members of the general public continue to envision a land of dashing
men and determined belles steadfastly united in their love of an Old South. In
Weary of War: Life on the Confederate Home Front, Joe A. Mobley strives to
dispel the romantic fog with brisk gusts of evidence about how hardship and
internal division heightened dissent and turned white Southerners against the war.
Drawing on wartime newspapers, published letter and diary collections, archi-
val sources (particularly the ever fascinating North Carolina Governor Zebulon
Vance Papers), and secondary sources, the study synthesizes the existing literature
on the Confederate home front and updates it with fresh examples and informa-
tion about what life was like behind Confederate lines during a cruel and exhaust-
ing war. In thematically organized chapters the author considers physical and
mental health; the Confederate economy; material want; conscription, desertion,
and dissent; marginalized population groups; the experience of refugeeing and life
in Confederate towns; religion and culture; and gender relations and family life.
The material on disease is particularly novel. In each chapter he weaves together
firsthand accounts of white Southerners both elite and ordinary, and the resulting
tapestry illustrates that the experiences of wartime hardship were so widespread
that war itself created commonalities among otherwise dissimilar citizens, but also
that Southerners were too diverse in attitude or opinion to unite fully behind the
war effort, especially as the army lost battles and the Confederate government
made unpopular demands.
Yet for all its effectiveness in illustrating that Southerners wanted the war to
end, the book does not address the significant distinction between war weariness
and desire to reenter the Union. Did desires for the fighting to stop, loved ones to
come home, and bellies to be full amount to a rejection of the goal of Confederate
nationhood? What did white Southerners envision as the alternative to fighting,
and could they live with that alternative? On these vital questions, Mobley
remains silent. He begins to approach, but not fully answer, them in the three-page
epilogue, which repeats the old assumption that 1863 marked the beginning of
the end (142). Such an interpretation suggests a linear narrative that simply does
650 THE HISTORIAN

not explain why the war continued for nearly two more years, nor does it fit with
the actual events of 1864, problems that Mobley recognizes as a conundrum that
requires further inquiry, but does not attempt to resolve (143).
Weary of War succeeds admirably as description, but provides less satisfying
analysis. That war weariness existed is certain, and Mobleys book synthesizes
and documents that reality quite expertly. Readers interested in what war weari-
ness meant will finish the book with their primary questions unanswered. The
books thematic organization, rich documentary evidence, and readable style all
make it an ideal starting point to recommend to students with particular interests
in the Confederate home front, and while the price tag places the book out of
reach for many individuals, it is perfect for libraries.
Georgetown University Chandra Manning

The Columbia History of Jews and Judaism in America. Edited by Marc Lee Raphael.
(New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, 2008. Pp. vi, 490. $75.00.)

This far-reaching book of essays is a welcome addition to the field of Jewish-


American studies, encompassing, among other areas, history, literature, gender
studies, and sociology. In his introduction, the editor, after arguing that [n]obody
has really successfully defined a Jew in America, considers the various ways to
think about Jews, including, for example: affiliated; self-identified as Jewish; and
by the usual groupings of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform (1). Marc Lee
Raphael then briefly sketches the history of Jews in America, highlighting several
of the challenges Jews have faced depending on when and where they settled.
The book is organized into two parts: Chronological and Topical essays.
The six chronological essays begin with Eli Fabers piece, entitled Americas
Earliest Jewish Settlers, 16541820, and continue up to Stephen J. Whitfields
Influence and Affluence, 19672000. As with any collection, the essays vary in
their strengths. Perhaps the strongest is Fabers article, for it presents even familiar
material in a tight narrative. Other articles are not as coherent; though perhaps as
a result of length requirements in a long book, subjects often deserve more
complete explanation and consideration.
The second section is comprised of twelve articles, and it is in this part that the
book both varies the most and makes its greatest contributions to scholarship.
Two articles discuss regional Judaism: William Tolls A Regional Context for
Pacific Jewry, 18801930 and Mark K. Baumans A Multiethnic Approach to
Southern Jewish History. Other chapters consider aspects of American Jewish
life and culture, among them politics, education, celebrations of the nation, and
BOOK REVIEWS 651

the social club. Taken together, they remind readers that perhaps no such thing as
a single American Jewish culture exists, despite popular stereotypes and media
portrayals. The most compelling and thought-provoking chapters are those in the
second part of the book that look at Jewish thought and ideologies, including
Alan T. Levensons Contemporary Jewish Thought and Pamela Nadells A
Bright New Constellation: Feminism and American Judaism.
The pieces in the second part of the book vary in their methodological
approaches as well; this is a function of bringing together scholars trained in
different fieldssome in history, some in religious or Jewish studies, American
studies, or literature. As a result, the emphases, even taking into account
their different subjects, are dissimilar, with some authors needing to provide
more historical context or otherwise give a fuller picture of what they are
describing.
This raises a question that will, perhaps, have several answers: Who is the
books intended audience? Some of the articles give detailed explanations of the
people and events they describe, and even an uninformed reader comes away
with a full picture. In other cases, however, most notably those considering the
history of thought and ideologies, the various authors seem to be addressing
those who are already part of the American Jewish scholarship community and
well versed in the issues and participants under consideration. For example, in
several cases, names are thrown out without an explanation of who the people
are or why they are significant. Thus, the book, in some part, cannot be fully
appreciated either by the beginning student or the casual but interested reader.
This is unfortunate, for the book is sure to have wide appeal, especially for the
latter category.
Still, this book provides a nuanced look at a number of different facets of
Jewish life in America, raising new questions that deserve to be explored, even
after over three hundred fifty years of Jews living in America.
Lyce Franais de New York Rachelle E. Friedman

The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Making of AfricaTown, USA: Spirit of Our Ancestors.
By Natalie S. Robertson. (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2008. Pp. xiv, 256. $44.95.)

In March 1860, the Clotilda, captained by William Foster, set sail from Mobile
Bay, Alabama, with a crew of eleven men, for Whydah, kingdom of Dohomey, in
present-day Nigeria. Fosters partner was Timothy Meaher, a rich Mobile ship-
builder who constructed the eighty-six foot schooner to withstand the treacherous
storms of the mid-Atlantic, complete with a copper hull and white-oak bows. The
652 THE HISTORIAN

Clotilda stopped at Havana, Cuba, a haven for ships smuggling Africans into the
Americas long after the slave trade had been outlawed in the United States, and
then set sail for West Africa. Trading gold, rum, and dry goods (beads and
sundries) for black captives in Whydah, Foster returned to Alabama, bringing
back the last shipment of Africans to the United States on the eve of the Civil War.
This book is the second volume to appear in a two-year span on this subject.
Sylviane Anna Dioufs Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and
the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America focused on what happened to
the 110 Africans and their descendants after the Civil War. The volume under
review focuses primarily on the West African heritage of the same group of slaves.
The author discusses in great detail the local origins and cultural values of the
Yoruba peoples brought to Alabama, their festivals, religious beliefs, languages,
naming practices, kinship patterns, and ancestor reverence, as the subtitle Spirit
of Our Ancestors suggests. Natalie S. Robertson uses information gathered on a
remarkable fifteen-year research journey that included lengthy stays in Benin and
Nigeria. She conducted interviews, carried out geographical surveys, engaged in
spatial analyses, studied place-names and idioms, and employed ethnographic
tools. In her travels, she visited remote villages, including Owinni, Akesan, Jaba-
land, Oyo, and Noke, among others. Interspersed in the narrative are personal
recollections. I met with Alhaji M. Mohammed, who is the Director of Zuma
Rock Nigerian Village, the author writes. He informed me that the name
Zuma is extant in West and South Africa. The author probed deeper and
discovered that the name probably originated in central Nigeria, coming from two
Hausa words, ezhu meaning guinea fowl and Mwa meaning catching (123).
Although most historians might feel uncomfortable with the use of the first-person
singular in such a manner, the information provided expands our knowledge
about African cultural values, attitudes, and naming practices.
The study is not without some weaknesses, however. It relies too heavily on
inflated slave values in the United States from outdated secondary studies; argues
that it is dispelling the myth that Africans lacked political organization, a myth
that was dispelled many years ago; and contains comparisons from the eighteenth
and twentieth centuries to describe the mid-nineteenth-century locations and
attitudes. For examples, using Ota Benga, the pygmy abducted from the Congo
and placed on exhibit at the St. Louis Worlds Fair in 1904 and later the Bronx
Zoo, the author writes that this was done with the pathology of sadistic racists
who debased and mutilated the black body for pleasure, for sport, for fear, and for
fetish. Such was the pathology of the architects of slavery that, in its psycho-
sexual dimension, provided a platform for the perpetration of heinous perversions
BOOK REVIEWS 653

against the black body (129). Despite such comparisons, the study contains a
good deal of useful and original data.
University of North Carolina Greensboro Loren Schweninger

Hiroshima: The Worlds Bomb. By Andrew J. Rotter. (New York, N.Y.: Oxford
University Press, 2008. Pp. xi, 371. $29.95.)

In this volume, the author offers a synthetic history of the scientific, political,
military, and diplomatic developments that culminated in the American use of
nuclear weapons against Japan in August 1945. As indicated by the title, Andrew
J. Rotter situates the history of the atomic bomb in an international framework.
The author deftly explores the tensions between what he dubs the the republic of
sciencethe sprawling, open, and polyglot community of scientists around the
world who contributed to the development of nuclear physicsand the demands
of the states that often funded their work amidst a time of rising political and
military tension in the first three decades of the twentieth century (17). Drawing
on recent secondary works for fresh material, he revisits the oft-told story of how
the United States was able to mobilize some of the worlds best minds in a
successful quest to beat both wartime rivals and allies (most notably the Soviet
Union) in what turned out to be a one-sided race to develop an atomic bomb.
On the enduringly controversial questions surrounding the decision to use the
bomb against Japan, Rotter takes a middle-ground position. In light of the
continuing Japanese resistance in the Pacific, looming tensions with the Soviets,
the gradual erosion of moral standards in the crucible of war, and the momentum
of a two-billion-dollar project, he concludes that use of the bomb was so over
determined as to be virtually inevitable. In the last two chapters, the author races
the reader through the Cold War arms race before sketching out (in only frag-
mentary detail) the proliferation of nuclear weapons beyond the superpowers.
Rotter is forthright in acknowledging that this work is based almost entirely on
readings in the secondary literature and he breaks little new ground in either
research or conclusions (340). One might reasonably ask whether another syn-
thetic account of the development of the atomic bomb is really needed at this
juncture. But it has been over twenty years since Richard Rhodes wrote The
Making of the Atomic Bomb [1986], a book that remains arguably the most
influential single-volume work on the subject, and which Rotter cites frequently.
In the intervening years, scholars have produced a rich profusion of work on the
bomb and its use, including a number of important biographies of Manhattan
Project scientists and administrators as well as a rich literature on the end of
654 THE HISTORIAN

World War II in the Pacific and the role of nuclear weapons in the origins of the
Cold War. In synthesizing this vast and often contentious body of scholarship in
a crisp, readable fashion, Rotter has performed very useful service.
In his ambition to offer a synthetic and international perspective on the
development of the atomic bomb, Rotter shares a common terrain with other recent
studies by Gerard J. DeGroot and P. D. Smith. Though all three volumes have their
strengths and weaknesses, Rotters is the most scholarly. The author has not only
mastered the recent literature, but also provides his readers with a well-cited guide
to the relevant works and controversies within the fields he traverses. Specialists in
these various areas will no doubt have their share of factual and interpretative
quibbles, a problem common to any broadly synthetic work. But readers looking
for a single-volume history of the development and use of the atomic bomb would
be well advised to start with Rotters measured and thoughtful work.
University of California, Merced Sean L. Malloy

Awaiting the Heavenly Country: The Civil War and Americas Culture of Death. By
Mark S. Schantz. (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2008. Pp. xv, 245.
$24.95.)

In the fall of 1944, Ernest Hemingway was writing a long poem he intended as a
tribute to sixty-seven soldiers of the 22nd Infantry Regiment killed in one days
combat while trying to pierce the Siegfried Line. Hemingway had recited the poem
to literary cronies in liberated Paris, but it was not until Marlene Dietrich growled
its opening lines, Now sleeps he with that old whore Death, in the Ritz Hotel
Bar that the verse found its proper milieu.
A century earlier, American poets were offering far more congenial images of
the dead and dying being carried off to heavenly climes where they would be
reunited with loved ones and live forever in transcendent glee. Mark S. Schantz
sees these sentiments, often proffered under the spell of classicism and romanti-
cism to commemorate the death of children and young women, as well as other
cultural expressions of mortality, as preparation for the carnage of the Civil War.
Antebellum culture already was saturated by death images, so much so, accord-
ing to Schantz, that it emerges not simply as a peripheral topic of historical
investigation but as the major story (8). He suggests that the sweep and nuance
of the encounter with death has been slighted, and accordingly limits our under-
standing of the Civil War. By examining death narratives implicit in cultural texts
ranging from sermons and diaries to photographs and paintings, Schantz contends
Americans created social frames that made death not only comprehensible but
BOOK REVIEWS 655

instructive, redemptive, and glorious. When secession came in 1860, they were
ready to put their lives on the line (9). These robust antebellum ideas about the
afterlife may have helped Americans to stomach the carnage of war in the first
place (218).
Schantz finds so many chilling examples of the palpable presence of death as a
path to freedom in slave narratives, for example, that the continent seems awash
in redemptive blood long before the war. Accustomed both to death and images of
celestial healing, Americans were attuned to the next world even as they clung
precariously to this one. Not surprisingly the rhetoric of death found its way into
Lincolns speeches as if the script for the conflict had been foreordained.
Though Schantz really has no need to push the thesis too far in this excellent
book, he nevertheless assumes too much about the mental landscape of half-
literate farm boys who fell at Shiloh and Gettysburg, or those who mourned them.
They may well have heard sermons and poems about the heavenly country just
beyond the next ridge before they took up arms, but once the cannons began
shredding their ranks the soldiers may have faced death with no more equanimity
than did Hemingway. The Victorian sea of faith was already ebbing. By the time
the moderns had finished with the dreamy memory of the Civil War amidst the
carnage of the Western Front, and Death had become the whore of war, it is
surprising anyone had the stomach for glory. Yet that did not prevent Tarawa,
Stalingrad, Dresden, or Hiroshima.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville Paul Ashdown

White Roads of the Yucatn: Changing Social Landscapes of the Yucatec Maya. By
Justine M. Shaw. (Tucson, Ariz.: University of Arizona Press, 2008. Pp. 240.
$45.00.)

Linear stone causeways have been known to researchers since the early colonial
period, and received intensive scientific study beginning in the early twentieth
century. Although some studies interpret the functions of these distinctive features
of the ancient Maya built landscape, few attempt to explain the construction of
causeways within particular historical contexts. In White Roads of the Yucatn,
Justine M. Shaw outlines the complex reasons why two sites in the northern Maya
lowlands, Yookop and Ichmul, undertook massive infrastructure projects in the
form of causeways during the Terminal Classic period (A.D. 8501100). The
study is based on data accrued over the course of a multiyear regional archaeo-
logical project in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, supplemented by compara-
tive data drawn from previous studies of Maya causeways.
656 THE HISTORIAN

According to the author, the causeways were built during a period of popula-
tion growth and environmental stress in the area and, hence, served a variety of
utilitarian and symbolic purposes. These included facilitating communication and
traffic, deflecting water to cachement systems, integrating the polity, and marking
territory with reference to rival centers. The study also finds that the different
plans of the causeway systems related to natural features and conceptual catego-
ries, as well as pre-existing settlement patterns, rather than simple unitary causes.
Many generalizations are carefully framed as speculative, owing to the incomplete
data from other archaeological projects, which the author covers comprehen-
sively. Overall, the authors approach falls within the general parameters of
postprocessualist archaeology, seeking a balance between explanations based on
ideological and material factors.
This study is organized into ten brief chapters, beginning with the presentation
of data from the two main study sites, road construction methods, and classifi-
cation. This is followed by a discussion of causeway functionality, beginning with
summaries of findings by other researchers, and concluding with an analysis of the
possible functions of the road systems within the study area. In this section, one
of the most telling indications of economic and political function of causeways
is found in the construction of palaces, plazas, and temples at the termini of
roadways at Ichmul (150). A similar situation exists for one of the groups at
Yookop; however, the roads at this site were also apparently built in order to
enhance access to the sites main water source (63). Both cases could be inter-
preted as evidence of local leaders interests in integrating large, dispersed popu-
lations with their greater subsistence base into the ritual and resource spheres
formerly focused on select elite households. Several site core maps are provided,
which, although reproduced in a small format, are well designed and readable.
The text is likewise written in a crisp, clear style, free of technical jargon.
This book is mainly of interest to archaeologists who study road systems,
settlement patterns, and social complexity. It is an important contribution to
Maya studies and an outstanding example of the significant archaeology currently
being done in the northern Maya lowlands.
California State University, Chico Matthew G. Looper

The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bells Secret. By Seth Shulman.
(New York, N.Y.: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. Pp. 256. $24.95.)

Journalist Seth Shulman penned an engaging, yet flawed, tale about the invention
of the telephone for a nonacademic audience. While researching another project
BOOK REVIEWS 657

he accidentally stumbled upon a trail of information [in Alexander Graham


Bells laboratory notebook] that cast a shadow over the now-famous and familiar
story of Bell and Watson (15). A twelve-day gap in entries, a sudden conceptual
leap, two affidavits by Zenas Wilbur, the clerk in the U.S. Patent Office who
examined Bells application, plus an alleged one hundred dollar bribe Bell paid to
Wilbur, seemed to indicate Bell stole the key idea (liquid transmitter) behind the
invention of the telephone from Elisha Gray. Did Bell gain illegal access to Grays
patent caveat? How else could Bell have drawn an almost perfect replica of his
competitors invention (35)? Looking for the smoking gun, Shulman deter-
mined these drawings revealed a clear and deliberate act of plagiarism (80). He
also ponder[ed] . . . how so many historians could have gotten the facts of Bells
story so wrong and ignored technical and legal documents (16, 73).
A dumbfounded Shulman takes the reader on an expedition, a cross between
a vision quest and a detective case, to establish Grays proper place in history (35).
Bell cheated because he was frustrated . . . discouraged . . . and . . . desperate to
succeed financially, so he could marry (96). Shulman is not very persuasive and
too dismissive of previously published accounts. The public may be wedded to the
heroic inventor and intrigued by who filed his patent first on 14 February 1876,
but most academic historians, especially historians of technology, are well aware
of the details (nothing new revealed here) regarding the Bell-Gray patent contro-
versies and legal battles. The disagreement here centers more on interpretation
than facts. Yes, in the late nineteenth century, Gray was a wealthy and well-known
inventor and entrepreneur, and today, he is little known and overshadowed by
Bell. In the United States, just as Thomas Edison is identified with the invention of
the incandescent lamp, Bell is credited with inventing the telephone; however,
these men are more familiar, in large part, because associated companies orches-
trated the successful commercial introduction of the new technologies. Indeed,
inventions are brought to market in the context of interconnected technical,
scientific, and business communities.
The emphasis on first person, jargon (slam dunk), and the pseudobattle with
academic historians is distracting (13). Minor oversights include the claim that
Edison had been dubbed the wizard of Menlo Park, for his work on the
incandescent lightbulb (18). However, on 10 April 1878 the New York Daily
Graphic used this term in an article about Edisons miraculous new invention, the
phonograph. The photograph on page sixty-one captures a New York City street
scene after the March 1888 blizzard (not the 1870s). And, enlarged and more
legible images of the primary documents reportedly providing the smoking gun
would have been helpful.
658 THE HISTORIAN

In the end, the liquid transmitter was not a key component of Bells successful
telephone, and Shulmans newly discovered documents are neither new nor
unknown. This popular history is an accessible and entertaining read, but it is
analytically flawed and needlessly sensational with an undeserving hero (Bell),
villains (Bell, Gardiner Hubbard, Patent Office employees, and academic histori-
ans), a true hero (Gray), and a revisionist (Shulman).
Passaic, New Jersey Mary Ann Hellrigel

Shaky Colonialism: The 1746 Earthquake-Tsunami in Lima, Peru, and Its Long
Aftermath. By Charles F. Walker. (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2008. Pp.
xiii, 260. $79.95.)

This is an important new contribution to the study of a particularly destructive


and well-remembered natural catastrophe that affected the colonial society of
Lima and the port of Callao. The author uses different angles to evaluate the
widespread material and human impact of the disaster, starting with a snapshot of
the urban landscape just after the earthquake, followed by a variety of historical
probes into political, gender-class-race, and religious categories. The reconstruc-
tion measures after the earthquake, and the well-documented legal debates over
how to implement and finance them, serve as a platform to take the study beyond
1746. In expanding the studys explanatory framework, broader historiographical
issues are discussed, such as early Bourbon reforms, their opposition by the local
elite and Church, and the causes of indigenous rebellions. All of these varied
aspects support Charles F. Walkers overall view that the earthquake shook the
foundations of a weak, retrograde, and unreformed colonial structure. The long
administration of the military viceroy Jos Manso de Velasco, honored with the
title of Conde de Superunda for his polemical postearthquake endeavors, played
a central role in stabilizing, reconstructing, controlling, and defending the vice-
royaltys ailing capital.
The extensive research underlying this study is camouflaged by its clear nar-
rative prose and minimalist reference apparatus. The amount and scope of archi-
val and printed sources are vast. Pioneering previous studies, new data from
notary and official records, and insights into legalistic and religious treatises of the
time are blended in an altogether original piece. Urban architectural aspects are
highlighted by focusing on the enlightened plans of French architect Louis Godin,
present in Lima during and after the earthquake, and the revealing polemic
concerning whether second floors of city houses should be eradicated or not.
Attention to early-eighteenth-century reforms builds on works by Alfredo Moreno
BOOK REVIEWS 659

Cebrin and Adrian Pearce and eye-opening reinterpretations of myths surround-


ing the earthquake in a study by Susy Snchez, among other authors.
Given the multitude of themes directly or indirectly related to the earthquake-
tsunami, readers trying to follow the narratives logic might sometimes feel
disoriented. It is not always easy to find the connections between, for example,
visions of some nuns and female fashion in clothing a decade after the earthquake,
with the jeremiads immediately following the disaster and blaming it on religious
relaxation and decadent luxury. Sometimes these links are unsatisfactorily estab-
lished in the text by conflating pre-existing religious and moral issues with direct
ideological or political consequences of the earthquake. It would have also been
desirable to read more about previous earthquakes compared to the one in 1746.
In trying to theorize beyond the inevitable gaps of historical records, the initial
urban, architectural, social, and political matters tend to fade in favor of less
relevant offshoots. The author does provide a strikingly useful, informative, and
comprehensive treatment that will certainly engage and stimulate both under-
graduate and specialized readers.
Baruch College and Graduate Center City University Alfonso W. Quiroz
of New York

A Population History of the Huron-Petun, A.D. 5001650. By Gary Warrick. (Cam-


bridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Pp. xvi, 296. $80.00.)

In this study, the author makes an important contribution to the body of schol-
arship pertaining to indigenous peoples and ways of life prior to European contact
and how dramatically these changed upon the latters arrival. Gary Warrick
specifically examines the population figures of the Huron-Petun peoples of
present-day southern Ontario, one of the most powerful confederacies of eastern
North America prior to its defeat and dispersal at the hands of its Iroquois
enemies in 16491650. Using multiple corroborative methods based on archaeo-
logical evidence, the author demonstrates that the Huron-Petun population levels
rose steadily for most of the thousand-year period prior to 1630, with the
exception of a spike in which the numbers tripled during the fourteenth century,
before gradually increasing to approximately thirty thousand by the time of the
earliest French presence in Canadas upper Great Lakes, ca. 1615.
These figures not only corroborate most contemporary French estimates of the
Huron-Petun populations, but they also go far in challenging modern well-known
studies such as those by Henry Dobyns and David Stannard, who have maintained
that pre-Columbian North America was populated by several million or more
660 THE HISTORIAN

people. Furthermore, these studies allege that most of these indigenous millions
died in holocaust proportions as a result of contracting European diseases sec-
ondhand through indirect contact, all unbeknownst to the oblivious pathogen-
carrying newcomers. Warrick has managed to cut through this haze by skillfully
employing mathematic algorithms in his analysis of the Ontario landscape. After
painstakingly examining the remains of 460 village sites, dating from the sixth
through the seventeenth centuries, he has compiled population estimates based on
a combination of carbon-dating, village sizes, numbers of hearths in former
longhouses, pottery types, styles of beads, and human remains buried in ossuaries.
The results suggest that it was not until the 1630safter nearly two decades of
direct contact with the Frenchthat the Huron-Petun peoples actually suffered a
catastrophic population collapse, undermining the disproportionate theories put
forth by Dobyns, Stannard, and others. Moreover, it would seem even less likely
that other northern indigenous peoples who dwelled west of Huronia, and thus
deeper in the hinterland with less early European contact, would have perished in
completely undocumented, secondhand epidemics. Nevertheless, catastrophic sec-
ondhand epidemics possibly did occur elsewhere in the Americas (i.e., perhaps
among late-Mississippian, Taino, Pueblo, and Meso-American peoples), rendering
these areas ripe for further archaeological investigations in the vein that Warrick
has undertaken in the North.
Warrick previously studied under the late Bruce Trigger while a Ph.D. candidate
at McGill University; this definitive study now makes him Triggers heir apparent as
principal scholar in the realm of Huron-Petun studies. The book is highly recom-
mended for all scholars and students of archaeology, anthropology, and ethnohis-
tory, and it is appropriate for any graduate or undergraduate student active in the
fields of Native America, colonial America, Canadian history, and the Great Lakes.
Onondaga Community College Timothy D. Willig

Households and Hegemony: Early Creek Prestige Goods, Symbolic Capital, and Social
Power. By Cameron B. Wesson. (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press,
2008. Pp. xxviii, 228. $55.00.)

The archaeologist Cameron B. Wesson has written a book that historians of Native
Americans and early America will want to read. Households and Hegemony
addresses an issue historians are very much interested inthe nature and cause of
Native American sociocultural change after European contact. In a book focusing
on Creek history from the late precontact period through removal, Wesson argues
for abandoning confident assertions about European-triggered decline and
BOOK REVIEWS 661

European-controlled relations of dependence. In their place, he asks that readers


take seriously the notion that Native peoples own motivations and actions con-
ditioned their societies developmental trajectories, and he argues forcefully that
in order to understand this processreaders need to investigate Native households.
[R]ather than a precipitous cultural collapse immediately following initial
contacts with Europeans, declines in sociopolitical centralization and elite
social power among the Creeks were brought about through an intensifi-
cation of internal social competition [between members of different house-
holds] during the greater part of the three centuries that followed. (xxviii)
Wesson brings to this project a mastery of Creek archaeology, a solid ground-
ing in social theory and the historical literature, and a knack for presenting his
expertise in an accessible manner. After two theory-heavy but readable introduc-
tory sections, Wesson spends several chapters familiarizing readers with Creek
culture and history before and after European arrival. Specialists will certainly
profit from these sections, but nonexperts will find them particularly rewarding.
For specialists, the real payoff comes in chapter four and the conclusion, where
Wesson brings the background material together with his archaeological data, and
then walks his readers through the implications of it all. His conclusions about
declining chiefly authority in the face of a rapidly evolving prestige and a good
economy are convincing, as are his efforts to situate that economy within the
shifting dynamics of Creek household life.
To be sure, there are aspects of this book which will grate slightly on historians
ears. Whether or not archaeologists need to be reminded that ideological
factors influence sociocultural change, historians do not (xvi). Likewise, his-
torians will wish that Wesson had excised his repeated claimsbuttressed by
citations to works very much out of the mainstream of contemporary scholarship
and undermined by Wessons own discussions of more cutting-edge material
that scholars continue to write about European-Indian contact as if Indian agency
was a nonissue. More fundamentally, Wesson follows (although not uncritically)
his disciplinary brethren in assuming that certain goods were markers for social
prestige and political authority. In doing so, he challenges historians, who are used
to very different sorts of evidence, to consider what the archaeological record can
and cannot tell historians. Those historians, however, who approach Wessons
evidence and his book itself with both an open mind and an appreciation for the
potential of interdisciplinary conversation will find a great deal that is challenging,
worthwhile, and, in the end, impressive.
University of Oklahoma Joshua Piker
662 THE HISTORIAN

The Education of Booker T. Washington: American Democracy and the Idea of Race
Relations. By Michael Rudolph West. (New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press,
2006. Pp. xii, 281. $24.50.)

Though more historical philosophy than biography, this book offers a thoughtful
musing on the life and legacy of Booker T. Washington. Both historians and the
public generally consider Washington a conservative, willing to sacrifice social and
citizenship rights for economic opportunity. Michael Rudolph West argues pre-
cisely the reverse. Conservatives value tradition and the rule of law. Once African
Americans were declared citizens, the Constitution afforded them the vote and
other rights on the same terms as whites. Conservatives respect the Constitution,
including the Bill of Rights, something Washington was willing to disregard. In
that sense, then, Washington was actually a radical.
But West takes his radicalism argument further. He suggests that Washington
was a radical because he transformed the nations understanding of the Negro
problem. He rejected the constitutional demand for equal rights, the moral
demand of social equality, and the economic demand of equal access to all jobs
and higher education. Instead, Washington argued that the solution to the prob-
lems facing black people was improved race relations. In other words, African
Americans were to accept their status in order to win the support of white people,
and those white people had to put their trust in African Americans. Whites were
therefore obligated to improve their attitude toward black people rather than
redress any of their specific grievances.
Such a view had significant and far-reaching consequences. West argues that
positing race relations as the solution to black peoples problems allowed white
people to ignore the violations of democracy such a solution required. Segrega-
tion, exclusion from the ballot box, and other limitations were necessary to make
white people more comfortable, and so were acceptable in the interest of better
relations between the races. It also took the question of race out of politics, where
it threatened entrenched white interests, and placed it instead safely in the realm
of theory. Washington argued that once whites trusted blacks, economic and
political equality would follow. West disagrees, insisting that Washingtons posi-
tion was not only radical, it was also wrong-headed and destructive.
Many other equally fascinating and compelling points await the intrepid
reader. Unfortunately, they are not readily accessible to the rest of us. West often
writes in sentences so complex and convoluted that they border on the impen-
etrable. One sentence went on for ten lines and included two parenthetical
remarks, one comment in dashes, one semicolon, two sets of quotation marks, and
BOOK REVIEWS 663

eight commas (92). In another, black leaders seek to make a splash, will not be
held back, make a great leap forward, break free, and do not fall into traps (176).
This inability to express himself concisely also makes for some tedious slogs. He
takes a full page to explain that most activists turn to violence only after they
conclude that more peaceful strategies have failed (167168). The lack of effective
editing is a shame because Wests arguments, agree with them or not, are fasci-
nating and compel us to rethink our views of this complex and contradictory man.
Trinity College Cheryl Greenburg

Grants Lieutenants: From Cairo to Vicksburg. Edited by Steven E. Woodworth.


(Lawrence, Kans.: University Press of Kansas, 2001. Pp. 262. $29.95.)

Grants Lieutenants, edited by notable Civil War historian Steven E. Woodworth,


provides an analysis of ten army and naval officers who served under Grant in the
first two years of the war: Generals William T. Sherman, William H. L. Wallace,
Charles Ferguson Smith, Lew Wallace, William Rosecrans, James McPherson,
Grenville Dodge, and Peter Osterhaus, and Admirals Andrew Foote and David
Porter. Each has his own chapter.
The individual essays vary in merit. Most laud to some extent individual
commanders. This creates problems when those commanders conflicted with
Grant. Classically, then, the Rosecrans and John McClernand essays tend to
diminish Grants power and talent. Oddly, so does the more balanced piece on
Dodge. Although William Wallace fell early in the war, Woodworths own essay
adds to a broad understanding of civilian generals; so does Stacy Allens exami-
nation of Lew Wallace. The Foote piece is decent, if overdrawn, but the Smith,
Osterhaus, Porter, and McPherson pieces add little new insight, while John
Marszaleks Sherman is singularly flat and undistinguished. None of them are
particularly well written.
If the individual pieces generally lack distinction, as a collection, the book has
greater problems. Indeed, it is a curious volume, hardly a book at all in the
monographic sense. In the introduction, Woodworth asserts that each chapter
explores the relationship between Grant and the lieutenant in question and
illuminates how each lieutenants service contributed to Grants success and to
his development as a general (2). Except in the most general sense, however, the
text simply does not fulfill this objective. Thus, the individual essays focus almost
exclusively on the individual commanders, with Grants role most often being
ancillary. Just so, no consistent theme controls or orders the individual contribu-
tions. Thus, they might have been published anywhere as free-standing essays.
664 THE HISTORIAN

Taken together, they offer no comprehensive understanding of Grants leadership,


much less his genius.
Along the same lines, the choice of the individual commanders exaggerates the
texts eccentricity. The grouping of the officers also fails the test of order. As with
the selection of one officer versus some other, a curious sort of randomness
characterizes putting one man before or after another.
The volume lacks rigor and authority. Those interested in individual command-
ers might use it. No student of Grant has much need to consult it.
Florida International University Darden Asbury Pyron

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Leaves of the Same Tree: Trade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka. By Leonard Y.
Andaya. (Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press, 2008. Pp. x, 320. $58.00.)

This study examines an unusual aspect of Southeast Asian historythe role of


trade in the process of ethnic formation along the Straits of Melaka, a vital
waterway straddling parts of Malaysia and Indonesia important for local,
regional, and international trade (3). The topic, however, does merit attention as
few historians have dealt with the complex issue of ethnicity even though South-
east Asia has over a thousand ethnolinguistic groups. Leonard Y. Andaya con-
vincingly shows that ethnicity is a continuously changing concept that can be used
as an analytical tool and as a subject of analysis to understand the past better. His
findings are carefully based on three decades of scholarship and extensive primary
and secondary source materials from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Netherlands,
including oral histories. The book reads well, spans the seventh to the nineteenth
century, contains notes and a select bibliography, and is organized into eight parts.
In the introduction, the author provides useful background information on
ethnicity, the Malayu (Malays), the Straits of Melaka, and trade in the region. In
chapters one and two, Malayu Antecedents and the Emergence of Malayu,
the author focuses on the Malayu as the dominant ethnic group in the vicinity of
the Straits. In the following chapters, he argues that Malayu emergence and
expansion encouraged the formation of other groups, making them leaves of the
same tree. For example, in chapter three, Ethnicization of the Minangkabau,
Andaya notes that the removal of Acehnese control and the increase in trade
through the Straits resulted in the Minangkabau having a separate ethnic identity
from the Malayu while in chapter four, From Malayu to Aceh, he traces Acehs
rise as the leading center of the Malayu world because of its strong economic and
BOOK REVIEWS 665

cultural links to other great Muslim kingdoms (15). However, Aceh later lost this
position when forced to emphasize a new ethnic identity centered on the interior
and agriculture, rather than on the coast and international trade (15).
In chapter five, The Batak Malayu, Andaya shows that Malayu ethnicization
resulted from their role as main suppliers of camphor and benzoin to the Malayu.
When they became involved in cultivating pepper and sought lands to plant rice,
they formed various Batak subethnic communities known today as Karo,
Simalungun, Pakpak-Dairi, Toba, Angkola, and Mandailing (16). In chapters six
and seven, The Orang Laut and the Malayu and The Orang Asli/Suku Terasing
and the Malayu, Andaya argues that ethnicization arose from their highly valued
roles to the Malayu rulers as defenders of the jungle and sea routes and as suppliers
of sea and forest resources, including such exotic items as dragons blood, a red
dye, and bezoar stone, a concretion in the stomach of certain animals, used for
medicinal purposes (221). But the Malayu later marginalized them socially and
economically when sea and forest products declined in importance. In the conclu-
sion, on Framing the Southeast Asian Past in Ethnic Terms, the author rightly
stresses the porosity and flexibility of ethnic communities and wisely cautions
against looking at the past in terms of ethnic struggles (238, 239).
By tracing ethnicity and trade, the author is original in that he offers a fresh
perspective on the study of Southeast Asian history. With ethnicity gaining more
attention, perhaps Andayas book will encourage more historians to delve into
this neglected field, as much work remains to be done.
Georgetown University Pamela Sodhy

The Woman Who Discovered Printing. By T. H. Barrett. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale
University Press, 2008. Pp. xiv, 176. $25.00.)

Technologies pertinent to printing developed early in the Chinese past. The


inscriptions in the bronze vessels of the Shang [ca. 1600ca. 1100 BCE] and Zhou
[ca. 1100256 BCE] dynasties were cast, not carved. The royal workshops also
produced official seals, instruments of authority that were retained by subsequent
polities. Ink was in use by the latter centuries of the Zhou, and by the third century
in the common era, paper had become the preferred surface for writing. The
practice of taking ink rubbings from stone inscriptions dates to the sixth century
at the latest. The art of printing with wooden blocks was therefore discovered
rather than invented, as T. H. Barrett intimates in the clever title of his book. The
question is, then, under which circumstances paper, ink, and stamping techniques
were combined in the mass reproduction of longer texts.
666 THE HISTORIAN

Barrett proposes that the anomalous, threatened court of Wu Zhao [628?


705], the only female emperor in Chinese history, possessed the necessary condi-
tions. Empress Wu legitimized her unprecedented assumption of power by means
of Buddhist rhetoric, by the patronage of Buddhist works, and by reference to the
Great Spell of Unsullied Pure Light, a scripture that prophesied the reign of a
female monarch. Barrett suggests that her vow to produce millions of copies of
this scripture, for distribution as relics across the realm, instigated the develop-
ment of woodblock printing. Tenuous and circumstantial by the authors own
admission, this hypothesis has the advantage of connecting a number of events in
the early history of printing: the mass reproduction of the same Great Spell, its use
as a legitimizing relic by the Silla [668892] and Nara [710784] courts in
eighth-century Korea and Japan, and the striking employment of printing meta-
phors by monks in Empress Wus circle. The lacking mention of Empress Wus
discovery may be explained by the consistent denigration of her person and her
government by later rulers, officials, and historians.
Barrett intends his book as a summary of present research on the origins of
printing (including his own) for the benefit of future scholars as well as for a
general audience. In the latter ambition, he may not have been entirely successful.
The effort to avoid a narrowly academic style of prose and argument has pro-
duced uneven results. The authors prose in the main body of the work tends
toward volubility and never matches the effective, informal style of the introduc-
tion. The author sometimes explains too much, but often explains too little. He
notes, for example, that steles are freestanding stones, but expects the reader to
know that the Yunju si is a monastery (66, 61). The general reader may find the
explanation of Buddhist beliefs and practices, in chapter three, incomplete and
difficult to follow. The reading public is fortunate, however, to have an accessible
treatise on the origins of printing written by a genuine expert. And even if later
research should prove that printing was not discovered by a woman in 705 CE,
for the time being, 705 is a more probable date than 1440, and Empress Wu a
more likely discoverer than Johannes Gutenberg.
University of Michigan Christian de Pee

When a Woman Becomes a Religious Dynasty: The Samding Dorje Phagmo of Tibet.
By Hildegard Diemberger. (New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, 2007. Pp.
xx, 394. $49.50.)

The question of the female incarnation lines in Tibet has been largely neglected
or misinterpreted. Even the famous Dorje Phagmo of Samding, though already
BOOK REVIEWS 667

well known by the early Western travellers and scholars, did not escape
that fate, and the issue is still often viewed through a veil of legend and
misunderstanding.
Hildegard Diemberger has based her excellent book on the first written biog-
raphy, though now incomplete and still unpublished, of the Venerable Chokyi
Dronma [14221455/6], founder of the Dorje Phagmo lineage. But she did not
content herself with the revelation of this exceptional document; she enlightened
and completed it by a careful reading and numerous quotations of the most
significant Tibetan sources related to her history and references to many relevant
scholarly works.
Chokyi Dronma somehow encompasses all great feminine characters of the
Tibetan history and literary tradition: Princess, nun, yogini, one of the very few
fully ordained women in Tibet, she was recognized as an incarnation of the
goddess Dorje Phagmo. On this point, she is exemplary, but she is exceptional in
each of the many parts of her generous and complex personality, as shown, for
example, in the pages devoted to a Tibetan Renaissance, an interesting reflec-
tion on the development of arts and crafts in Tibet during the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries.
Diemberger thoroughly studied the historical, religious, and social context
to give a vivid description of Southern Tibet in the fifteenth century, especially
Gungtang, where Chokyi Dronma was born, and Southern Lato, where she
married. She also provides a thorough presentation of her religious life, her travels
and foundations, and her relations with her religious masters, mainly Bodong
Chogle Namgyal and Thangtong Gyalpo. The discovery of the biography (trans-
lated in part two) was decisive in this detailed and shrewd analysis. Even though
the last pages and the colophon of the manuscript are missing, a very convincing
attempt at dating it and identifying its potential author has been made. Based on
contemporary testimonies, written by a follower of Chokyi Dronma, the biogra-
phy is undoubtedly of great importance and value, and the reflections made here
on the biography as a genre and on its composing processes are of the utmost
interest.
The third part of the book is devoted to the succession of Chokyi Dronma
through the ages, her reincarnation, the role and importance of the Samding Dorje
Phagmo line, and her spiritual and political history until her confrontation with
communism and modernity.
There are too many points of interest in this brilliant and often innovating
book to be mentioned here (among which are a good account of reincarnation in
the Tibetan tradition, or an interesting study of the concept of transgression).
668 THE HISTORIAN

Extremely useful and inspiring for the specialists, the author offers a pleasant
introduction to the Tibetan traditions, in their most Tibetan aspects.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris Anne Chayet

Crossing Empires Edge: Foreign Ministry Police and Japanese Expansionism in


Northeast Asia. By Erik Esselstrom. (Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii
Press, 2008. Pp. xii, 233. $59.00.)

No scholarship has dealt extensively with the documents of the Japanese Foreign
Ministry (Gaimusho) consular police, detailing their work within Japans colonies
and the periphery. In addressing this gap, the author of this study significantly com-
plicates conventional understandings of the dynamics of Japanese expansionism.
As early as the 1880s, the Gaimusho consular police functioned in Korea as a
public security institution. Intended to safeguard Japanese citizens under the
unequal treaty system in port cities, the consular police originally managed
problems of health, social order, and crime. But their role and numbers grew,
culminating in the assumption of all police power in Korea by 1910. The spread
of consular police infrastructure in the treaty ports of China and in Manchuria
from 1895 to 1919 followed this model with slight variations. Arguing that
Taiwanese and Koreansnow considered Japanese subjectsand Japanese resi-
dents needed police protection, they extended their reach into mainland China
and Manchuria despite the dubious legal standing of such activities. Through
World War I, the government used the consular police as a useful tool for
expanding and protecting Japanese interests on the continent (63).
This only intensified after 1919. As Korean and Chinese nationalism and
international communism threatened Japanese domestic and foreign affairs, the
Gaimusho police began to play an essential role in bolstering the empire by
rooting out dangerous elements at the imperial periphery. They surveilled and
suppressed anti-Japanese movements in the treaty ports and in the Jiandao region
of Manchuria. This continued in the mid-1920s despite attempts by Foreign
Minister Shidehara to lower the profile of consular police by offering more
jurisdictional duties to Chinese authorities. Amidst rising Chinese nationalism and
increasing communist-led violence, Gaimusho police leaders disagreed with Shi-
deharas policies and undercut his efforts. Indeed, by the 1931 invasion of Man-
churia, when the consular police intensified their activities and fought alongside
army units, they had long been supporting Japanese imperial goals.
By 1937, the Foreign Ministry police in northern China functioned fully as an
expansionist arm of the empire extending beyond surveillance and espionage.
BOOK REVIEWS 669

After the start of the China War, the consular police embraced the construction of
the New Order in East Asia. While the army did the most explicit fighting,
consular police followed up with intelligence gathering and forceful suppression
among Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese. During the 1930s, evidence indicates that
the consular police often went to extremes of violence and intimidation, mini-
mizing the differences between their activities from that of the military (146).
Erik Esselstroms careful work provides further evidence that conventional
binary disjunctions used to portray the history of Japanese expansionism culmi-
nating in World War II require significant revision. Foreign Ministry goals should
not be contrasted too starkly with that of the military; Japanese foreign behavior
should not be conceptualized apart from the complexities of domestic politics;
civilian agency should not be overly separated from state expansionist tendencies;
and the 1920s should not be seen as too discontinuous with the aggressive
militarism of the 1930s. These findings make Esselstroms work a significant and
refreshing contribution.
Wheaton College Genzo Yamamoto

A History of Pashtun Migration, 17752006. By Robert Nichols. (Oxford, England:


Oxford University Press, 2008. Pp. xv, 266. $50.00.)

Recent public opinion has not viewed the Pashtuns kindly. Residing primarily in
Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Pashtuns have gained notoriety in the West through
their association with Al Qaeda and the atavistic Taliban. Nevertheless, Robert
Nichols demonstrates in this lucid study that the Pashtuns have for centuries been
anything but a hidebound, insular community. Rather, Nichols notes, the
Pashtun populations of todays Pakistan and the Peshawar region have always
participated within the greater historical flows of wider interregional and world
history (xiii). Participation in these flows, in turn, has meant that Pashtun
identity has not [been] of an unchanging, primordial character (5).
Nicholss study of Pashtun migration in the modern era divides neatly into two
distinct sections, one covering the arrival of the British in South Asia through
independence in 1948 and the other focusing on events in the postindependence
period. In the first, Nichols describes how two centuries of agricultural migration
into northern India meant that a Pashtun community of around one hundred
thousand was already present when the British began asserting hegemony over the
area in the late eighteenth century. Some rejected foreign control, but many others
discovered new opportunities for settlement and service with the British and in
new princely states like Hyderabad, particularly as soldiers and revenue agents.
670 THE HISTORIAN

Pashtuns later also joined the larger flows of migrants who took advantage of
developing contract labor networks within the British empire, networks that sent
many thousands of Pashtuns as far away as South Africa and the Caribbean to
serve as plantation workers, policemen, and soldiers. Particularly interesting is
Nicholss discussion of the crucial role played by Pashtun merchants and trans-
portation workers in opening Australias interior in the nineteenth century.
Independence created new avenues for Pashtun migration. Economic develop-
ments in Pakistan enticed tens of thousands of rural Pashtuns to Karachi and other
cities with the promise of higher wages. As would become the norm for such
movements, migration was the strategy of an extended family sending out an
individual, bound by family honour and duty, to earn, save, and remit as much as
possible to the home (142). Over time, kinship networks facilitated more exten-
sive migration by providing information before departure and vital shelter and
services upon arrival.
Nichols is at his best when employing material gathered from extensive field
research. In his last two chapters, he presents a fascinating glimpse into the lives
of contemporary Pashtun migrants to the Gulf states of the Middle East, where
they typically perform dirty and difficult jobs under conditions marked by blatant
discrimination and endemic insecurity. Nevertheless, the potential payoffs, such as
returning home with sufficient capital to better ones life by building a nicer home
or investing in a small business, have frequently seemed worth the risks. Pashtun
collaboration with fellow expatriate Gulf state workers in recent labor protests
has further integrated them into evolving global economic and social flows.
One wishes Nichols had tested Pashtun support for the Taliban against his
overall thesis, but perhaps that is a topic for a second monograph.
Morningside College Greg P. Guelcher

India and China in the Colonial World. Edited by Madhavi Thampi. (New Delhi,
India: Social Sciences Press, 2006. Pp. x, 256. $90.00.)

This edited volume focuses on Indian-Chinese relations between 1830 and 1949,
when these relations were greatly transformed as both came under colonial and
imperialist domination (1). Most studies of India and China in this period look
at the relationship between the colonized and the colonizer; this book represents
one attempt by Indian and Chinese scholars to look directly at each other to come
to grips with a particularly complex and troubled phase in the relationship
between their two countries . . . (18). Ten of the authors are Indian and three
are Chinese. The book is divided into five sections: Trade and Economic
BOOK REVIEWS 671

Interactions; Chinese in India, Indians in China; Cultural Interaction;


Links between the National and Revolutionary Movements in India and China;
and Emergence of a New Relationship. The editor provides a brief, clear
summary of each chapter in her introduction.
The collection is multidisciplinary, with the chapters varying in method and
style. Some are historical narrative, engagingly told, many of them focusing on
individuals, such as a fascinating study of Tagores travels in China entitled The
Controversial Guest. Others, such as economist Chen Zhilongs summary of
Sino-Indian trade through the treaty port city of Shanghai after 1842, contain
more tables than text, and leave it to the reader to find the historical significance
among the copious data. Sources vary widely as well. Some, such as those used in
the excellent chapter written by the editor on the history of the Indian commu-
nities in China, use many primary sources. Others, such as the highly readable last
chapter, Perceptions and India-China Relations at the End of the Colonial Era,
are theoretical essays more than works of original research and use mostly
secondary sources.
The collection succeeds in avoiding repetition, yet connections come through
well, including themes that recur through many chapters, such as: how personal
relationships (like that between Nehru and Chiang Kai-shek) can prevent misun-
derstanding between China and India; the Japanese invasions of World War II and
the muck it made of Indo-Chinese relations; and the Britain-India-China triangle
trade. Events that come up in numerous chapters include the Chinese Taiping
rebellion, the Indian 1857 rebellion, and the activities of the Indian National
Army. Particular historical characters also make repeat appearances throughout
the volume: Rabindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose,
Chiang Kai-shek, and Mao Zedong.
The book would be more reader friendly with a map and a glossary. It will be
most useful to readers generally familiar with the modern history of at least one
of the countries, although most chapters do provide concise, lucid background
sections. And, even for the India and China specialist, the book provides the
pleasure of learning something new, such as the accounts of Indian soldiers who
left the British and went over to fight for the Taiping rebels and the involvement
of the Chinese community in Gandhis movement in South Africa. The second
section, on overseas communities, includes two excellent historical studies on
subjects little studied: in the first, the author tells the story of the Chinese
community in Calcutta, from its beginnings in the 1780s to its decline since 1962.
The author of the second surveys the history of three major Indian groups living
in China from 1700 to 1950traders in western China, businessmen in eastern
672 THE HISTORIAN

China, and security forces mostly from the Punjaband explains why these
communities have vanished leaving almost no trace (80).
The contributors make it clear from the introduction to the last chapter that
they approach their work as scholar-advocates. Few authors miss the opportunity
to draw connections between the history they discuss with the present state of
relations between India and China. Their hope is that increased appreciation for
each others culture and increased knowledge of the many ways Indians and
Chinese have interacted in the past will help lead to better relations in the future.
This is not done in a heavy-handed way; rather, it gives a sense of urgency to the
studies, and a focus that helps tie together such a wide variety of topics, disci-
plines, and styles. This book will be of interest to comparativists, to scholars of
colonialism, and to teachers of upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses in
Asian studies or global studies. It will also be appreciated by policy analysts as it
provides background on the history of Indian-Chinese relations.
St. Lawrence University Anne Csete

Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo, and the Culture of Early Modern
Japan. By Constantine Nomikos Vaporis. (Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii
Press, 2008. Pp. xii, 318. $50.00.)

This important piece of institutional and social history represents the most detailed
treatment available in English of the Tokugawa sankin-kotai, or alternate atten-
dance system, which the author characterizes as the bedrock of the Tokugawa
polity (2). Drawing upon domain records (most notably from Tosa on Shikoku),
personal diaries, literary accounts, reports from Western observers, and visual
evidence from scrolls and woodblock prints, the author makes a strong case for
this institution as being critical to the development of a common national
culture at not only the elite, but also the popular level. The heightened sense of
belonging to something that was both familiar to all and yet different in important
ways, particularly at the local level, in turn facilitated the transformation of Japan
from an early modern, semifeudal state oriented around older military structures
to a modern imperial nation-state. Although these interpretations of the transfor-
mative and integrative power of the alternate attendance system are not necessarily
new, the level of detail provided in this study is unparalleled and will be of special
interest to scholars of not only Japan, but other centralizing early modern states.
Constantine Nomikos Vaporis attempts to study alternate attendance as a
lived experience by looking at its social and economic impact at all levels of
society. Likewise, he sees Edo culture as not just emanating from the center, but
BOOK REVIEWS 673

also coming to the center from the countryside, to be redistributed in what could
be described as a national culture of sorts (233238).
After a chapter on the origins of the system, the author discusses different
routes to Edo and then moves on to a fascinating examination of the social and
symbolic significance of the daimyo procession itself. This discussion makes
extensive use of contemporary images and also considers such processions within
a broader global context, noting how performance and display were used to
highlight the respective status of various daimyo and their connection to the ruling
authority. Particularly interesting for cultural historians are Vaporiss discussions
of how children purchased toys depicting figures from the processions and played
in imitation of such demonstrations. Although he does a fair job of comparing and
contrasting the Tokugawa to other courts in motion like that of Elizabethan
England, one is somewhat surprised to see that he omits mention of Michael G.
Changs recent book, A Court on Horseback: Imperial Touring and the Construc-
tion of Qing Rule, 16801785, though it is possible that the two books were in
press at the same time. Subsequent chapters deal with life in Edo and the locations
and layouts of daimyo compounds, providing useful insights into how retainers
lived and were managed by the authorities. The book concludes with an all-too-
brief chapter on the samurai as carriers of culture to and from the center.
This book should definitely be required reading for anyone interested in early
modern Japanese social and institutional history. It may also be of interest to
comparative historians, though some of the authors comparisons could be better
fleshed out. This reviewer has two other minor criticisms. First, it was surprising,
given the fact that the author stresses the creation of a shared culture, that more
connections to theoretical works like those of Benedict Anderson were not made.
Secondly, his evidence for the level of influence exerted by the periphery upon the
center was rather lacking and relegated to a few pages at the end of the book.
Nonetheless, this is a solid piece of scholarship that advances readers understand-
ing of a very important facet of early modern Japanese history.
Ball State University Kenneth M. Swope

EUROPE

The Discovery of Mankind: Atlantic Encounters in the Age of Columbus. By David


Abulafia. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2008. Pp. xxv, 367. $35.00.)

Extensively researched, painstakingly argued, and constantly true to the words of


the explorers themselves, this work chronologically follows and analyzes various
674 THE HISTORIAN

encounters between Europeans and inhabitants of first, the Canary Islands and
then, the New World. David Abulafia focuses consistently on the impressions
authors had of such peoples and on what role preexisting texts and reports had
in creating these impressions. Finally, he gleefully and convincingly attacks
the jargon in which many postmodernist discussions are garbed, advising
those puzzled by the particularly incoherent example he cites to re-read
Hans-Christian Andersens The Emperors New Clothes (xv). And indeed, as
Abulafia examines some modern interpretations of encounters between Europeans
and others, he restores faith in the time-tested methodology of reading primary
sources carefully, closely, and with sensitivity (see 126127 and 191 for a
sampling).
The book is, if anything, hyperorganized, with four main sections, each of
which contains short chapters that each in turn contain a handful of subheadings.
Both this system and the nature of the primary source materials generate a certain
amount of repetition, though never inflicting boredom upon the reader. Tying
together the many diverse accounts of Europeans discovering peoples new to them
are several clearly articulated themes. First, that the inherited intellectual tradition
of those who encountered the Canary Islanders, Africans, and Indians (a term
acceptable in British English, though perhaps grating to American ears) was
neither coherent nor comprehensive. Aristotles natural slaves butted up against
Thomas Aquinass rights of those who lived according to natural law, which
was itself variously defined. Second, that writers sometimes grafted on assump-
tions from older books of travel, whose veracity is now highly suspect. And third,
that many Europeans had great difficulty in interpreting what at times seemed
senseless information, and thus not only perpetuated existing myths, but simul-
taneously, and often individually, accepted both positive and negative views of
natives they encountered (89, 1720, 70, et al.).
Abulafia presents a clear and precise framework early on to make sense of this
seemingly senseless information; similarly, Abulafias handling of Columbus is
careful, insightful, and complex. Though never minimizing the traumas inflicted
upon indigenous peoples, nor the condescension with which many Europeans
viewed them, the author succeeds admirably in illustrating the mentalities of those
writing accounts of these encounters and those reading them. His exploration of
the works reveals new worlds in several senses. Though the accounts are over-
whelmingly tipped towards the European perspective, native reactions to the
Europeans peep through, adding intriguing glimpses into lost worlds.
Anyone interested in voyages of discovery, in intellectual history, and in ways
cultures react to one another will enjoy and profit from The Discovery of
BOOK REVIEWS 675

Mankind. The authors strong views may put some readers off, but will, the
reviewer suspects, strike many more as wonderfully refreshing.
Saint Josephs University Alison Williams Lewin

Italy and Its Invaders. By Girolamo Arnaldi. Translated by Antony Shugaar. (Cam-
bridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005. Pp. ix, 229. $19.95.)

For much of its history, Italy has been a paradox. Its distinctive peninsular
geography and uniquely privileged claim to the Roman cultural legacy have long
set it among the most conceptually recognizable of all Western centerseven as
political disunity and a venerable tradition of regional particularism precluded
anything like a coherent national history before the later nineteenth century.
This curious fact explains the enduring quest for a definitive Italian metahistory.
What exactly does Italy mean before the formation of the modern Italian state?
What great historical themes transcend the political divisions and regionalized
identities of the Italian peoples in the vast space between Roman antiquity and the
Risorgimento?
Notwithstanding a sly opening disclaimer to the contrary, Girolamo Arnaldis
book makes an intriguing case that the native response to the peninsulas frequent
invasions is one of the principal engines of Italian historical change (vii). The
books ten chapters are essays on the major invasions that drove the development
of Italian history: the Visigothic sack of Rome in 410 (chapter one); the formation
of the Ostrogothic kingdom in the fifth and sixth centuries, and its destruction
during Justinians Italian wars (chapter two); the Longobard and Carolingian
conquests of the early Middle Ages (chapters three and four); the German and
Norman invasions of the high Middle Ages (chapters five and six); the French and
Spanish conquests of the late medieval and early modern periods (chapters seven
and eight); the age of Austrian domination, which presaged the Risorgimento
(chapter nine); and the Fascist pseudoconquest, followed by the true liberation
that enabled twentieth-century Italy to take its place among the great nations of
the modern world (chapter ten). In each case, foreign intrusion not only altered
Italys fluid political geography, but introduced new social practices, public insti-
tutions, and cultural perspectives, which the Italians adopted and made their own.
This is a lively, well-written work, accessible to undergraduate students and
informed by an impressive range of historical and literary sources. It pays homage
to many of Italys greatest intellectuals, especially Benedetto Croce [18661952],
whose thought is one of Arnaldis recurring touchstones. Anthony Shugaars
translation renders the text in clear, idiomatic English without obscuring its
676 THE HISTORIAN

distinctly Italian syntactical and stylistic feel. Inevitably, perhaps, in a short work
of such ambitious breadth, the coverage is uneven. The best parts of the book are
chapters three through seven, in which Arnaldia prominent medievalistoffers
a very thorough and detailed treatment of the manifold ways in which Italian
institutions and attitudes were affected by the foreign incursions of the Middle
Ages. The rather more impressionistic analysis in some of the other chapters
suffers in comparison. And the reader could be forgiven for sensing a vaguely
Whiggish tone to the final chapter. Still, this is a thoughtful, engaging, and
eminently readable book, tracing the elements of change and continuity in the face
of what is undeniably one of the dominant themes of Italian history: the incursion
of foreign powers, which both changed and were changed by the remarkable land
into which they inserted themselves.
University of Louisville Blake R. Beattie

Rituals of War: The Body and Violence in Mesopotamia. By Zainab Bahrani. (New
York, N.Y.: Zone Books, 2008. Pp. 276. $32.95.)

That [t]he Mesopotamian discussion of war, its justifications, and its rituals
. . . predates all othersuch discussions are why this book is so fascinating,
especially in the context of the modern Iraq War (14). The author offers a
well-researched study, using mostly ancient visual representations but also liter-
ary sources. She analyzes several works of art in detail. The composition of a
group of neo-Assyrian architectural palace reliefs depicting the Elamite campaign
of King Ashurbanipal [seventh century BC] focuses on the decapitation of the
Elamite King Teumman and his severed head, repeated again and again. This
kind of imagery was not meant to imitate reality or function as simple propa-
ganda inasmuch as it was performative: it was created through the act of
representation.
Just like cuneiform texts required decipherment due to the multivalence of the
signs, Babylonian scholars developed a rigorous system of reading visual signs
according to a method that now would be called semiotic (57). Zainab Bahrani
explains how the act of divination consisted of the interpretation of a sign
previously written by the gods in a body (e.g., sheep entrails and livers), utilizing
thousands of catalogued omens.
The Victory Stele of the Akkadian King Naramsin [twenty-third century BC]
also commemorated a military campaign. The king is shown as exerting sovereign
power over life and death. The historical event is presented not sequentially but
hierarchically: the larger figure of the ruler steps on the naked bodies of the
BOOK REVIEWS 677

defeated enemy. This is consistent with the Mesopotamian view that the torture
and death of enemies were normal consequences of war. Steles were meant to
make a specific event permanent and immortal.
The Naramsin stele and the also discussed Codex Hammurabi [eighteenth
century BC] were found in Susa, where an Elamite army had taken them in the
twelfth century BC. As magical perpetuations of the ancestor kings valor and
wisdom, they were still revered centuries later, and their capture, mutilation, and
public display demonstrated the victory over Babylon. Bahrani testifies: The
destruction of monuments in Mesopotamia was a supernatural act, the annihila-
tion of a record, which was a terrible fate in a society whose principal ideology
was that immortality was achieved through history, monuments, and memory
(223).
The abduction of cult statues of patron deities of enemy cities was common
too, with wars being fought for their repatriation. Babylons cult statue of
Marduk, for example, was captured and rescued three times during the second
millennium BC. However, cult statues were not harmed by their captors because
they were seen as the real thing: not mere representations or substitutes but the
deities themselves. Literary laments explain a gods exile as an active expression of
his displeasure with his citys population. The deitys absence caused despair and
left the kingdom helpless, ransacked by war and upheaval.
Bahrani provides illustrations, endnotes (rather than footnotes, unfortunately),
a good bibliography, and an index. Her book is well written and engaging. The
main caveat is that the different themes and strands of evidence could have been
presented in a clearer, more logical structure.
Alexandria Archive Institute, San Francisco Francis Deblauwe

Setting the Desert on Fire: T.E. Lawrence and Britains Secret War in Arabia, 1916
1918. By James Barr. (New York, N.Y.: W. W. Norton, 2008. Pp. xv, 382. $27.95.)

Few historical feats of derring-do have retained their vibrancy through the years
like those of Lawrence of Arabia. And with the Middle East perennially in the
headlines, the story of Lawrence and the Arab Revolt is a fertile topic for
further exploration. In Setting the Desert on Fire, journalist James Barr uses
government documents and the writings of many of the key British players to
retell a compelling story of guerrilla warfare, personal bravery, and interna-
tional intrigue.
Seeking the historical origins of the crisis of the modern Middle East, Barr
takes his readers on a journey through the deserts of a century ago, and does
678 THE HISTORIAN

an admirable job of making comprehensible the complex tribal and religious


divisions that characterized the region then as they do today (3). The story
centers on the Hijaz Railway, the central link from Damascus south through
modern Jordan and Saudi Arabia to Mecca and Medina that gave the Ottomans
access to the interior of Arab lands, and the British-designed Arab attacks on
the railway that comprised much of the Arab revolt of 19161918 (130). Barr
argues that the exigencies of the moment forced the British to renege on prom-
ises to the Arabs during the revolt, thus sowing the seeds of the mistrust and
anger that roil the region today. At the heart of the story is the indomitable T.
E. Lawrence.
Lawrence of Arabia was a complicated man, and Barr recounts all the intri-
cacies of his role in the Arab Revolt. Firsthand accounts from Lawrence as well as
other British agents and government officials and correspondence from the Arab
leaders of the Revolt paint Lawrence and his use of venomous reports that
sometimes [flew] in the face of all the evidence as the intellectual and military
core of the Arab Revolt (129, 267). The second half of the book is a detailed
account of each of Lawrences attacks on the Hijaz Railway and ends with the
capture of Damascus in late 1918. Perhaps Barrs most important contribution to
Lawrences story is his credible refutation of Lawrences famous story of being
taken prisoner by Hajim Bey in Dara in November 1917, where he was reportedly
beaten and possibly raped. Through the use of chemical analysis on the paper of
Lawrences diaries and detailed investigation, Barr calls into question the veracity
of this most sordid of Lawrences adventures while strengthening Lawrences
place as a leader of the Arabs.
Though Setting the Desert on Fire is a good, fast-paced read, it has some faults.
Most importantly, although Barr does well to highlight the importance of the
1916 Sykes-Picot Treaty in which Britain and France carved the Ottoman Empire
to their liking, the book could add more international context to what is, in
essence, a story of a guerrilla campaign in a peripheral sideshow during the
Great War (108). Lost in the vibrant personalities of Arabs and Europeans alike
is a sense of the stakes at play in the Arab Revolt beyond the fun that Lawrence
and others had blowing up Turkish trains. At times the book reads like a movie
script, not a serious work of historical inquiry. In the end, Barr pays too little
attention to his main argument that the modern conflict in the Holy Land began
with British lies during World War I, and he never manages to incorporate the
nascent Zionist movement effectively into his story of Arab liberation.
University of California, Berkeley William S. Goldman
BOOK REVIEWS 679

The Family in Early Modern England. Edited by Helen Berry and Elizabeth Foyster.
(Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Pp. xv, 244. $105.00.)

This perspicacious volume by different authors takes as its central focus a reas-
sessment of Lawrence Stones hotly debated The Family, Sex and Marriage in
England 15001800 [1977]. Following a useful introduction by the editors, Tim
Strettons chapter opens with a penetrating and vivid discussion of options avail-
able to early modern husbands and wives seeking private separation. Here we
learn how, as far back as 1650, many couples successfully circumvented costly and
time-consuming church courts and found recourse in (among other places)
common law courts, equity courts (Chancery, Requests), Star Chamber, and even
Cambridge Universitys vice chancellors court. For Stretton, the increasing
number of separations secured outside church courts speaks to the declining
respect with which those courts were held (37). At the center of Bernard Capps
chapter is the Interregnum reformation of morals and manners. Drawing evidence
from Middlesex court records, Capp convincingly argues that Puritan reformers,
in their zeal to curb offenses such as swearing, drinking, gambling, and sports on
the Sabbath, drew strength and sustenance from the cooperative efforts of ordi-
nary families.
Garthine Walkers study of early modern property offenses abounds with sharp
observations that undermine older interpretations of crime as disruptive to the
family unit. Walker reveals that in many instances when married women broke the
law (normally by stealing goods to sell), familial bonds were reinforced in positive
ways (71). John Walter injects age and gender into his assessment of rioters to
determine how participation in protests could empower the otherwise powerless
in early modern English society. For Walter, male breadwinners participated to
defend the social and economic bases of their masculinity (103). To justify their
special right to protest, women often referenced their significant contributions to
the family/household economy (111).
Steve Hindles microhistorical approach to early modern poverty minutely
explores Ann Bowmans repeated poor law petitions to Cumberland court mag-
istrates and, in the process, throws light on the importance of kinship and
community in the lives of early modern families. Hindles skillful use of the
records allows the widow Ann to express, in her own frank words, her worries,
anxieties, and fears. Made abundantly clear here is just how seminal the family life
cycle was to shaping applications for poor relief. Helen Berry and Elizabeth
Foysters shrewd, clear analysis of prescriptive literature, religious works, advice
manuals, and medical texts presents a captivating study of the significance of
680 THE HISTORIAN

fatherhood to early modern ideas of masculinity. For a man, being childless could
call into question his honor, reputation, masculinity, and even his credit; in some
instances it could actually prevent him from holding political office.
Ingrid Tagues contribution provides a fascinating commentary on the impor-
tance of lineage for aristocratic women, particularly the elderly widow Lady
Isabella Wentworth. Wentworths letters to her son Thomas attest to her obsessive
fears about what would become of the family estate should her son fail to produce
an heir. The final chapter, by Joanne Bailey, presents a gendered assessment of
eighteenth-century parenting through the novel use of court cases dealing with
cruelty, adultery, and criminal conversation. This critical analysis reveals that
throughout the second half of the eighteenth century increasing attention was
devoted to fatherhood. In the end, when it came to child rearing, fathers were
being brought into line with mothers to put their childrens individual interests
ahead of their own (232).
This exemplary volume serves as a provocative challenge to the vision of family
constructed by Stone over three decades ago. It is important reading for anyone
interested in early modern English families and is an essential addition to univer-
sity and college libraries.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Michelle White

The Limits of Loyalty: Imperial Symbolism, Popular Allegiances, and State Patriotism
in the Late Habsburg Monarchy. Edited by Laurence Cole and Daniel L. Unowsky.
(New York, N.Y.: Berghahn Books, 2007. Pp. x, 246. $90.00.)

The Habsburg Monarchy has undergone something of a revival among historians.


This is meant not only in terms of renewed interest in Central Europes main
polity, but also in the spate of revisionist historiography that has elevated a once
doomed anachronism to a potentially viable multinational polity destroyed by
war. Far from seeing the Habsburg monarchy as a reactionary, dynastic state that
failed to modernize, many historians now view it as having evolved quite effec-
tively, also regarding nationalism.
One apparently fruitful line of research for those wishing to restore the mon-
archy as a viable entity is the fashionable area of pomp and circumstance, the
construction of authoritys self-image, much on the lines of the invention of
tradition. The articles in this collection document that the Habsburg dynasty did
succeed at times in promoting a self-image of itself, its monarch (mostly Franz
Joseph), and occasionally even its state and that could be seen as mediating the
interests of its many national groups. This was especially so concerning the
BOOK REVIEWS 681

support of regional conservative hegemonies (Polish nobility in Galicia or tradi-


tional Italian Catholics in South Tyrol). There were sectors of the monarchys
population who were very loyal to the dynasty, and most subjects, before 1914 at
least, were at least not disloyal. Franz Joseph, as has long been known, became in
his final years almost iconic as a focus of loyalty.
So why did the monarchy collapse two years after his death?
Part of the answer to that question is also well documented in these articles.
Laurence Cole admits that Italian liberals were never convinced by the call of
Habsburg loyalty; Hugh Agnew points to the way the Czech crown became
divorced from the Habsburg head; Sarah Kent points out how loyalty to Franz
Joseph could be used against the Habsburg authorities; and Alon Rachamimov
even has the temerity to question the unconditional loyalty of Habsburg Jewry.
Indeed, the general tenor of the book as a whole is to confirm the limits of loyalty,
not its extent. That is certainly the message of the afterword by R. J. W. Evans,
which is an excellent critical review of the book in which it appears. Evanss essay
is particularly good on the contrast between the claimed depoliticization of
Franz Josephs image in his later years, when in fact the emperor-king remained
directly and very publicly involved in politics.
Apart from the limits of loyalty, the key question is loyalty to what or to
whom? The very fact that Franz Joseph did command such personal loyalty in his
last years was a sign of the monarchys institutional weakness as a state. Very little
in this volume, for all its fascinating details about the manipulation of dynastic
imagery, is about the Habsburg states imagealmost everything is about the
dynasty or Franz Joseph. The failure to create a strong loyalty to the Austro-
Hungarian state, independent of the person of the Habsburg ruler, remains the
main cause for the monarchys dissolution, and the main puzzle that is not
answered in this book.
Independent Scholar, Washington, D.C. Steven Beller

The Crime of Poison in the Middle Ages. By Franck Collard. Translated by Deborah
Nelson-Campbell. (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2008. Pp. iv, 292. $49.95.)

Using legal and literary sources, this is a remarkable work of wide scope and
elegant complexity. Following a brief overview of the subject, Frank Collard
establishes one of the central dichotomies of the text: the pervasive and overstated
idea of poisoning as a medieval crime and the paucity of proven court cases. With
the logical starting point of analysis in criminal records for the period 500 to 1500
CE, Collard culls only 420 accusations of poisoning. The subtlety of the work
682 THE HISTORIAN

begins here, however, as the accusations themselves initiate an investigation of the


complexities and subtleties of the crime. There was no standard for procedure,
jurisdiction, or punishment for the crime of poison for the Middle Ages. Even the
terms used appear to be metaphorical and lend variety to the subject, conjoining
poison with magic and heresy. Much of the legal confusion, not limited to the
crime of poisoning, results from the lack of established procedures. By the four-
teenth century, when more clarification and judicial structures existed in medieval
Europe, lawyers began specifically to define murder by poison as a unique cat-
egory of crime. Moving from the legal aspects, Collard broadens the study with an
exploration of the sources, the effects, and particularly the social and sociological
aspects of the crime. As he states, the judicial dimension of poisoning is less
interesting than its cultural dimension (270).
The crime of poison in medieval Europe becomes a metaphor for sin, danger,
and the erosion of social order, bringing into suspicion any act or person
outside the prescriptive, societal norms, individuals more or less foreign to the
community (101). Poisons originated in the Orient; doctors, witches, Jews, and
strangers used it to destabilize communities. The most insidious and destabiliz-
ing aspect of the crime, as shown here, is its potential to disrupt the social
order. Whereas most homicides were violent confrontations among equals, the
crime of poison broke boundaries, introducing fear, suspicion, and tension to
societies. The crime of poison violated customs and rules of hospitality and
service, as Collards examples illustrate that servants, wives, and even members
of monastic communities were accused of the crime. [P]oison diverted and
turned upside down social roles . . . this inversion ended up affecting all society
(269). In these cases lie the strength of the book, providing not only an under-
standing of poisoning but of criminality and insight into the opinions and
beliefs of medieval societies on fear, death, murder, and even social tensions and
class conflicts.
Deborah Nelson-Cambells well-crafted translation of this work is a welcomed
contribution and makes this remarkable study of poisoning and its many social
aspects accessible to a wider audience. The only limitations to the text are its
emphasis on France and French sources and an anemic index limited to Major
Historical Figures. These aspects are minor in relation to the multidimensional
study of the subject and the innumerable approaches and ancillary ideas it pro-
vides, particularly the mentalit of medieval societies concerning the crime of
poison.
University of Southern Indiana Jason Hardgrave
BOOK REVIEWS 683

John Maynard Keynes. By Paul Davidson. (Houndmills, England: Palgrave Macmillan,


2007. Pp. vii, 222. $105.00.)

This work is the second installment in a series called Great Thinkers in Economics.
The author, Paul Davidson, a leading advocate of the post-Keynesian school of
economics, clearly states his purpose in the first paragraph of the preface. He
wishes to convince students of economics, professional economists, and intelligent
people that the economic theories taught in the schools and preached in the media
fail to solve our current economic problems. Davidson believes in the ideas of
John Maynard Keynes, which were revealed in Keyness famous book entitled The
General Theory of Employment Interest and Money, which was published during
the Great Depression in 1936. The author states that if we understood what
Keynes had written in this book and applied it to our current economic problems,
such as unemployment and poverty, we would have a faster-growing economy
today.
The author divides this book into twelve chapters, the first three dealing with
Keyness early development. In chapters four through six, Davidson discusses why
Keynes rejected the classical economic ideas that he was taught at Cambridge and
how he developed his own theory. Chapter six is very technical, and, unless the
reader is an economist or a graduate student in economics, (s)he will have trouble
understanding it. In chapters seven through ten, Davidson summarizes Keyness
view of the economic system and how to use Keynesian theory to solve the
problems of the twenty-first-century global economy. In chapter eleven, he deals
with the problem of inflation. The author states that even though Keynes wrote
The General Theory during the Great Depression, when unemployment rather
than inflation was the problem, he still understood the dangers of commodity and
income inflation. In his final chapter, Davidson discusses why the ideas of The
General Theory failed to become the accepted way of thinking in the colleges and
universities throughout the United States. He blames the anti-Communist move-
ment (McCarthyism) and the mathematization of economics in the post-World
War II period. Davidson is especially critical of Paul Samuelson, a renowned
economist, who is credited with bringing the Keynesian revolution to the United
States. The author believes that Samuelsons interpretation of Keynes was not
based on The General Theory, and he doubts whether Samuelson and other
so-called Keynesians ever bothered to read it.
In conclusion, Davidson divides the time from the end of World War II to the
present day into two periods. From 1945 until the early 1970s, the economy in the
United States grew very rapidly, due mainly to the ideas of Keynes. However, in
684 THE HISTORIAN

the 1970s, what was called Keynesian economics was repudiated and replaced by
monetarism and neoclassical thinking, which led to a slower-growth economy.
The author believes that all economists should read The General Theory and
adopt its ideas to the current global economy.
New York City College of Technology Edward S. Kaplan

Napoleon: The Path to Power, 17691799. By Philip Dwyer. (New Haven, Conn.:
Yale University Press, 2008. Pp. 651. $35.00.)

The author of this biography gives readers a detailed account of the famous
Corsican from his birth to the 1799 overthrow of the Directory. The authors
insistence on linking the Corsican temperament to Bonapartes future acts of
revenge and vendetta is enlightening, although it is not necessarily new, as
Owen Connelly previously established the impact of the Corsican heritage on the
character and formation of Bonaparte. In his biography of the little general,
Vincent Cronin demonstrated this link effectively as well. For Philip Dwyer,
Bonapartes Corsican heritage becomes the vehicle for explaining his inordinate
ambition, relentless drive, and the success he enjoyed while organizing his path to
power. In Dwyers hands, Bonaparte becomes the perfect eighteenth-century orga-
nizer in the same vein as the more modern Saul Alinsky.
Readers are given a glimpse of Bonapartes ability to create his own legends
and myths in the prologue, which recounts the battle of the Bridge at Arcola. Here
Dwyer convincingly describes the historical reality of this incident; he then shows
the event as described by Bonaparte in order to reveal the exaggeration in his
proclamation that the battle represented the fate of Italy, allowing him to send
glowing reports on the French armys performance back to France.
Divided into five detailed chapters, Dwyers copious notes and citations
acknowledge his debt to other scholars, most notably Jean Tulard, with whom he
studied at the Sorbonne; David Chandler; Georges Lefebvre; and H. T. Parker. The
selected bibliography is an incredible research resource; it is useful for the English
sources mined by Dwyer, such as the 1798 army correspondence of Bonaparte
captured by Admiral Nelsons British fleet.
At times Dwyer appears to set up an argument to defeat. An example of this
can be found on page 469 in the discussion of the coup against the Directory, in
which he states that the traditional accounts are just a little too convenient;
Bonaparte arrives in Paris at the moment when the conspirators happen to be
looking for a general. Few contemporary historians failed to realize that the
groundwork, had been carefully laid by family and friends so that well before
BOOK REVIEWS 685

Bonaparte set foot on French soil, the publicnot to mention the political
elitealready associated his name with a coup against the Directory.
The work is perhaps too difficult for the M.A. student, but it is an excellent
read for the specialist of the French Revolution as well as the specialist in
Bonapartism. Dwyers work has a number of excellent portraits and other illus-
trations, each of which would be more commanding if they were in color instead
of a grainy black and white. Dwyer provides maps that are helpful and clear and
that demonstrate to the reader exactly what Bonaparte faced in the siege at
Toulon, the campaign in Northern Italy, and in the Egyptian and Syrian campaign.
Youngstown State University Anne York

Defending Royal Supremacy and Discerning Gods Will in Tudor England. By Daniel
Eppley. (Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2007. Pp. 260. $99.99.)

This book examines English responses to one of the most politically explosive
intellectual problems in early modern Europe. While the New Testament enjoined
obedience to political authorities, it also called for civil disobedience when politi-
cal leaders pursued policies that were contrary to Gods will. Many scholars have
been intrigued by figures who used the injunction to obey God before man to
justify resistance and revolt in early modern Europe. By contrast, Daniel Eppley
focuses on how certain English theorists sought to defuse this possible justification
for civil disobedience. Eppley explores this subject by focusing on a hermeneutical
question embedded within the command to obey God before man: how should
people discern Gods will in a given situation and determine that it requires them
to disobey their rulers?
Even the leading defenders of the English Royal Supremacy answered this
question in ways that could legitimate resistance, arguing that individual Chris-
tians could determine Gods will (with the guidance of the Holy Spirit) or arguing
that Gods will could be determined with reference to Church consensus. The bulk
of the book, however, is dedicated to analyzing the printed works of two Tudor
thinkersChristopher St. German in the 1530s and Richard Hooker in the
1590swho argued that the king-in-parliament had the final and definitive
authority to interpret Gods will. St. German and Hooker reached this conclusion
in different ways, but by giving the king-in-parliament the final word on Gods
will, each would eliminate the possibility of legitimate disobedience to the laws
of the realm on the basis of prior obedience to God (223).
Eppleys study is clearly organized and contains interesting and valuable analy-
sis of St. German and Hookers ideas. For example, St. German and Hookers
686 THE HISTORIAN

hermeneutics led each to define religious truth in relative and probabilistic terms.
The rulers of different realms might reach different conclusions about Gods will,
but this need not trouble scrupulous consciences: ones personal salvation did
not depend on apprehending the truth, but on obediently following the authori-
tative determinations of civil authorities.
Although the book raises many valuable points, it has some limitations. First,
while both St. German and Hookers arguments are contextualized alongside
the ideas of leading contemporary English theorists, the connection between the
two remains unclear (as Eppley himself acknowledges). Second, and more
importantly, the discussion is limited to the writings of English authors and the
English context, but these debates about obedience and authority were a central
part of the Reformation across Europe. Especially given the recent historio-
graphical emphasis on the international nature of the English Reformation, it
would have been valuable to consider the ways in which the English debate on
this subject interacted with pan-European debates. Nevertheless, Eppleys study
makes valuable contributions and raises important questions about the conse-
quences of the English Reformation for ideas about authority, obedience, and
truth.
University of Miami Karl Gunther

Scipio Africanus: Romes Greatest General. By Richard A. Gabriel. (Dulles, Va.:


Potomac Books, 2008. Pp. xxii, 303. $27.50.)

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus [236183 B.C.E.] is best known for defeating
the Carthaginian general Hannibal near the North African city of Zama, thus
winning the Second Punic War [218201 B.C.E.]. Scipios epic struggle with
Hannibal shaped his life. As a young soldier he saved his fathers life at the Battle
of Ticinus [218 B.C.E.] in Northern Italy, the first of several Hannibalic victories.
Two years later, Scipio rallied the survivors of the disastrous Battle of Cannae in
southern Italy. In 210, he was given command against the Carthaginian forces in
Spain, becoming the first private citizen to be entrusted with consular authority
(privatus cum imperio). In Spain, Scipio accomplished three major victories in
quick succession, effectively removing Spain from Carthaginian control. Then,
determined to draw Hannibal out of Italy, Scipio landed troops in northern Africa
and, after a series of minor engagements, won the Battle of Zama in 202. In the
peace treaty that followed, Carthage formally ceded Spain, relinquished its navy,
and paid a substantial indemnity to Rome, thus ending its role as a Mediterranean
power.
BOOK REVIEWS 687

In this biography, Richard A. Gabriel argues that Scipio was Romes greatest
general. Although the book has certain strengths, it also has significant weak-
nesses. Gabriel, a retired military officer, is at his best when describing military
engagements; his account of the decisive Battle of Zama is particularly compelling
(183201). Gabriel is less successful, however, in achieving his stated goal of
writing a scholarly biography. The book is marred by bibliographical omissions,
factual mistakes, and misquotations of Latin phrases, as well as organizational
difficulties, infelicities of expression, spelling mistakes, and an abundance of
typographical errors. Although Gabriel claims that his bibliography includes all
relevant materials published between 1890 and 2007 in English, German, French
and Italian, he has failed to include several easily accessible works (xiii). Among
several factual errors, Gabriel states that Scipio Africanus grandson, Scipio
Aemilianus, was adopted by the Roman general, Aemilius Paullus, but in fact
Aemilius Paullus was Scipio Aemilanus natural father; the boy was adopted into
the Scipio family (xiv). Many Latin phrases are garbled. The Latin phrase privatus
cum imperio appears nonsensically as imperio privatus on page xxi; it is given
correctly on page sixteen, but it appears incorrectly again (this time as privatus
imperio) on page 204. Though these (and other) mistakes may not substantially
influence Gabriels main points, they are confusing to the reader and do not
belong in a scholarly work.
Organizational difficulties also contribute to the readers confusion. Key terms
such as Popular Assembly, Fabian strategy, and Peoples Tribunes are
initially used without explanation (12, 13, 14). Although some of these terms are
explained in later chapters, a nonspecialist reader may be challenged. In short,
though the book provides a clear and concise account of Scipios military ven-
tures, a reader seeking a comprehensive biography of Scipio Africanus would do
better to look elsewhere.
Utah State University Susan O. Shapiro

Napoleons Enfant Terrible: General Dominique Vandamme. By John G. Gallaher.


(Norman, Okla.: Oklahoma University Press, 2008. Pp. xiv, 362. $24.95.)

This author is one of Americas finest scholars of the French Revolutionary and
Napoleonic era. His biography of Louis Davout, The Iron Marshal [1976],
emphasized the role of Napoleons most capable commander and established the
author as a stalwart in the field. John G. Gallahers most recent work is an effort
to illuminate the career of a minor, but not insignificant, general of the wars that
followed the French Revolution.
688 THE HISTORIAN

Gallaher divides the career of Dominique Vandamme into two distinct periods:
a remarkable ascendancy during the French Revolution and a ceaseless frustration
in service to Napoleon. Vandamme, of Flemish petit bourgeois origin, joined the
French as a private in 1791 following the collapse of that nations government.
Gallaher describes Vandamme as an out-spoken, well-known dedicated repub-
lican, who was promoted through the officer ranks (12). With the appropriate
combination of martial ability and political zeal, he achieved the rank of general
of brigade by age twenty-three. The author reveals that his protagonists rough
personality and brash disregard for morality led to his undoing. Vandamme often
feuded with superiors and was accused of atrocities inflicted on combatants and
civilians. Gallaher clears some blame, but does little to elicit sympathy for his
subject.
Under Napoleons command, Vandammes ambitions remained unfulfilled.
Gallaher believes that Vandamme was obsessed with the greatest prize in the French
Grande Arme, a marshals baton. Although he admired Napoleon and served
loyally, Vandamme was never close to the emperor, and his feats always seemed to
escape acclaim. Gallaher highlights the generals role at sieges in Silesia in 1807.
However, his complaints to Napoleon of his superiors inadequacies simply drew
the emperors ire. This was especially true of Vandammes personal conflict with
Napoleons brother, Jrme, during the campaign in Russia in 1812. Vandamme
was relieved of command for that tiff. Subsequently, the general did not fare well in
1813 when his corps was captured, almost intact, at the Battle of Kulm.
Gallahers biography of Vandamme is an enjoyable read and well documented.
It is based on new archival materials, but it falls short in a few areas. First,
Vandammes military career may only interest experts in this field. He existed on the
periphery of much larger events and did not play pivotal roles, except that his defeat
and capture at Kulm in 1813 inspired Napoleons enemies. Second, Gallahers
disregard for German sources leads to superficial coverage of Vandammes foes. For
instance, at the culmination of the generals career, surrounded by Russians,
Prussians, and Austrians on the mountain roads south of Dresden, Gallaher repeats
that Vandamme battled Field Marshal Schwarzenberg at Kulm. In fact, the allied
victory over Vandamme belonged to the tsars representative, Barclay de Tolly.
Third, despite Gallahers best efforts, there was not enough source material for a
biography of this man. Several incidents of Vandammes life provide useful insights
into the workings of the French military, but at least one-third of this work is a
textbook history of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.
Jacksonville State University Llewellyn Cook
BOOK REVIEWS 689

Terror and Democracy in the Age of Stalin: The Social Dynamics of Repression. By
Wendy Z. Goldman. (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Pp. x, 274. $22.99.)

How did the Soviet Great Terror of 19361938 spread from the top of the
Soviet hierarchy to its lower echelons? Wendy Z. Goldman addresses this ques-
tion in her engrossing new work. She contends that the terror was great not
only in terms of the numbers of its victims, but also in its great quantity of
perpetrators, and that it was the regimes combining of democracy campaigns
with the hunt for enemies that blurred the difference between hunter and
hunted (7).
The book begins with the familiar but necessary story of the Soviet Unions
rapid industrialization beginning in the late 1920s and the subsequent hardships
this brought to factory workers (peasants and agriculture are not part of the
narrative), along with insoluble dilemmas of industrial managers caught between
the regimes impossible demands for productivity and the workers material needs.
All of this caused serious grumbling among communists. Stalin and his circle,
however, were unwilling to be held accountable for economic crises that threat-
ened to become political ones, and, confronted with the sudden murder of a top
leader, they scapegoated hidden enemies. Finding regional communists and
officials reluctant to unmask these purported enemies, high-ranking leaders
resolved in early 1937 to unleash the pent-up frustrations of the rank and file by
sponsoring free, multicandidate elections for party and state posts. Goldman
examines how these elections played out in two labor-related spheres, the trade
union bureaucracy and the party committees in several of Moscows largest
factories. In both sets of cases, the elections produced lively debates that resulted
in the removal of many union and factory leaders, but they also unleashed a
torrent of arrests, accusations, and denunciations, many of them preemptive,
leading to further arrests as communists and union leaders attempted to deflect
blame for alleged crimes from themselves and their networks onto others. But this
self-protection strategy became self-perpetuating, widening the circle of people
targeted for arrest.
Terror and Democracy graphically illustrates this process. Other strengths of
the work include its chronological approach (all too rare recently), along with its
focus on one institution in particular, the All-Union Central Council of Unions
(VTsSPS). This concentration allows her to track the historical evolution of the
terror and the relationships between superiors and subordinates and to provide
vivid portraits of both the few heroes as well as those less resistant to pressures to
690 THE HISTORIAN

denounce. The presentation is clear, crisp, and well organized, and the writing is
lively and colorful.
Sometimes, however, the writing appears to be too colorful; there are a few
places where the records appear to have been embellished upon, or at least
mistranslated. Footnotes are sometimes not helpful or misleading such as sources
cited that do not fit the material being discussed; for example, a 1991 decree that
is sourced to a 1989 work. In general, many archival citations are hard to
disentangle because of confusing subsequent references, which can appear up to
twenty-five pages after the first reference. This is especially problematic because
there is no bibliography. Other errors seem to have been the result of haste, like
describing both A.V. Artiukhina and N.I. Nikolaeva as the last leader of the
Womens Department (156, 173).
A more substantive concern is the lack of attention to the historiography of
denunciation. Reading this work, one would not know that there is a rich
literature devoted to the topic, especially in Soviet and prerevolutionary
Russian history. The Soviet period experienced several waves or episodes of
terror, many of which featured a similar dynamic of scapegoating and denun-
ciation, but Goldman barely mentions, much less engages with, the relevant
literature.
A major theme of the book is what Goldman calls democracy, but not all
readers will find her arguments convincing. She maintains that the 1937 elections
(democracy) were intertwined with the breaking up of patronage networks
and unmasking of enemies, but she hardly interrogates the term democracy, which
usually appears without quotation marks (unlike enemies and unmasking),
indicating her apparent view that the democracy aspect was genuine, while the
quest for enemies was cynical.
Yet in Goldmans own presentation, the campaign for union democracy
the regimes term, which appears repeatedly and uncriticallybegan when the
VTsSPS leader, trying to ingratiate himself with Stalin, called for free elections
among union leaders. This resulted in the patronage circle at the top temporarily
allowing lower-level officials a chance to criticize and replace their superiors. But
does the centers encouragement of little coups against regional leaders count as
democracy, especially when the institutions in questiontrade unionsserved,
in Goldmans own words, as cheerleaders for the regime and lacked real power?
This sounds more like populism, or as Chris Ward has put it, plebiscitary
demagogy, not democracy. As with many recent monographs, the books title is
broader than its contents would warrant; a more accurate title might be Terror
in the Trade Unions: Party and Populism in the Age of Stalin.
BOOK REVIEWS 691

What ultimately interests Goldman is the relative complicity of the top lead-
ership vis--vis that of lower-level and local actors in the terror. She writes
memorably that 1937 was a conflagration that was lit and assiduously
fanned by party leaders, but which found substantial fuel in the wider griev-
ances, tensions, and resentments of the industrial workplace (13). She indicates
in numerous instances that if Stalin or the secret police had not initiated a terror
wave, it never would have occurred. Yet these examples clash with her emphasis
on the role of grass-roots party members as willing instruments of their own
destruction (255). One wonders whether fearful self-protection equates to
willingness?
These criticisms aside, this work is a valuable addition to our picture of the
terror.
Oklahoma State University Lesley A. Rimmel

Miracles and Wonders: The Development of the Concept of Miracle, 11501350. By


Michael E. Goodich. (Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2007. Pp. xii,
148. $99.95.)

One might characterize this book as akin to a charcoal sketch, rather than an oil
painting. Although the reader easily recognizes, in outline, a history of ideas about
miracles, the image lacks color, depth, and texture. This book may roughly be
divided into two halves. After a brief introduction (chapter one), the author deals
broadly with the Churchs official teaching on miracles in chapters two through
four. Michael E. Goodich often moves beyond the chronological limits of his title,
showing how scholastic ideas developed from their patristic antecedents. In
chapter two, the author addresses the development of a theology of miracle in
medieval doctrine; chapter three is on the transmission of this theology to the
unlettered faithful through the medium of sermons; and in chapter four, he
discusses challenges to the theology of miracles presented by Jews and dissenters
from Church doctrine. The treatment is terse, but informative.
In the second half of the book, the author summarizes the treatment of miracles
in selected canonization proceedings and other hagiographical sources. The focus
here is on the practical application of theological norms. In the final chapter
(seven), based upon the same sources, Goodich treats visions received within
dreams. This should be the most original portion of the book, involving, as it does,
the complex epistemological issue of how a natural occurrence mayor may
notpurvey supernatural insights; yet the discussion is less satisfying than this
interesting topic would suggest. Throughout the study, Goodich employs a vivid
692 THE HISTORIAN

source base, but too few innovative or provocative questions are asked of these
sources.
In his conclusion, Goodich identifies four aims of his work: [T]o explore the
relationship between reason and revelation in the medieval understanding of
miracles; to link the Churchs desire for a more rational foundation to miracle-
theology to the rise of heresy and skepticism; to compare popular and learned
conceptions of miracles; and to trace the application of the rules of evidence in
the examination of miracles, particularly in canonization cases (117). This is
quite an ambitious set of aims and, simply put, a volume this slender has little
chance of achieving them. Miracles and Wonders circles around these issues, but
barely skims the surface of their considerable complexities.
What is more disappointing is that little of the material presented here is new.
Surely, there remains more to say on these topics, but this study fails to advance
the scholarly conversation. Previous, more comprehensive treatments of these
issues include (among others) the works of Pierre-Andr Sigal and Andr Vauchez
as well as the rich essay compilation Miracles, prodiges, et merveilles au Moyen
Age (Paris, 1995). Yet Goodich appears to be unaware of some of these funda-
mental researches: he is parsimonious in his citations, overlooking the essay
collection and evenpuzzlingly for an investigation with so much attention to
canonization proceedingsmost of Vauchezs oeuvre, including the highly rel-
evant Sainthood in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1997).
In sum, this reviewer found this work to be a disappointment. However, the
nonspecialist in search of a concise treatment may find Miracles and Wonders
to be a useful overview: its brevity and schematic character are strengths for
such readers.
University of California, San Diego Nancy Caciola

The History of Medieval Canon Law in the Classical Period, 11401234. Edited by
Wilfried Hartmann and Kenneth Pennington. (Washington, D.C.: Catholic Univer-
sity of America Press, 2008. Pp. xiii, 442. $64.95.)

This is the latest volume in the ongoing History of Medieval Canon Law series,
and it covers an era in canonical development that has generated a tremendous
amount of sophisticated research. What even a cursory glance at the footnotes
demonstrates, however, is just how little of that research, especially the founda-
tional scholarship of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, has ever appeared
in English. The importance of the current volume then is twofold. In a series of
essays, some of the foremost contemporary authorities on the medieval canon law
BOOK REVIEWS 693

systematically describe the revolutionary achievements and ideas of the period; in


so doing, they acquaint readers with the rich vein of older European scholarship,
critical editions, reference works, and monographs, upon which modern studies
continue to depend.
In the first chapter, Michael H. Hoeflich and Jasonne M. Grabher discuss the
stages in which the authoritative texts, which professional lawyers were required
to master, came into being in twelfth-century Europe. They observe that the
production of auxiliary texts designed to help make canonical collections useful
was occasioned by the fact that university law schools needed to prepare students
to practice as well as to study this body of esoteric knowledge (2). The next two
chapters perfectly illustrate their observation: Peter Landaus essay on the sources
of the Decretum and the methods employed by Gratian to produce his standard
textbook of medieval canon law is followed by Rudolf Weigands overview of the
countless glosses written with the express purpose of making Gratians oddly
organized collection more accessible.
Next, James A. Brundage describes how canon law was taught in medieval
universities across Europe, and Kenneth Pennington and Wolfgang P. Mller,
followed by Weigand, provide details about the commentaries on the Decretum
produced both in Italy and beyond the Alps. Charles Duggan and Pennington deal
with the manner in which papal decisions made their way into the body of canon
law, and the incorporation of conciliar legislation is the subject of essays by Anne
J. Duggan and A. Garca y Garca. In a final chapter, Joseph Goering illustrates
how the science of canonical jurisprudence affected the courts of conscience, and
so, via penance and confession, all Christians who availed themselves of that
voluntary forum.
The subject matter of this book is technical and complex, but the essays that
explicate that material are models of clarity. The volume is organized superbly,
and consistent use of cross-references aid the reader and avoid redundancy. Those
just embarking on the study of medieval canon law will want to read this book
and then refer to it again and again. Those who have been students of the law for
some time will learn from it because it is the product of masters.
Texas State University Elizabeth Makowski

The Romanovs: Ruling Russia 16131917. By Lindsey Hughes. (London, England:


Hambledon Continuum, 2008. Pp. xviii, 308. $27.95.)

This authors final book is a timely, balanced history that accentuates the cultural
legacy of the dynasty that opened Russias window to the West. Calling her book
694 THE HISTORIAN

a study of rulers and rulership, she skillfully synthesizes recent scholarship in


Russia on the Romanovs and the pioneering work of Richard Wortman and
others on the myths, ceremonies, architecture, and art of the Russian monarchy to
argue that the Romanovs successfully pursued a family strategy of gathering
power, legitimizing the dynasty in the eyes of their subjects, and establishing
autocratic rule over their multinational empire (4). Unlike studies that focus on
the end of the tragic dynasty in 19171918, Lindsey Hughes contends that with
few exceptions [1730, 1825, 1905] the Romanovs enjoyed the unreserved support
of the nobility and peasantry until World War I, even as they imposed a process
of Europeanization on traditional Russia, especially under Peter I and Catherine
II, that elevated Russia to great power status and bequeathed a flourishing and at
times oppositionist culture in literature and the arts.
A short review cannot do justice to this meticulously researched, beautifully
written book that scholars and general readers will value. Besides bringing the
various tsars to life in separate chapters, Hughes, who was a preeminent scholar
of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Russia, revises many standard assessments
of the rulers, most notably that of Michael I, the dynastys progenitor. Far from
being a pliant tool in boyar hands, Hughes shows that Michael used religious
pilgrimages and historical mythsfor example, his rescue by peasant Ivan
Susaninto promote the bond between the dynasty and rural Russia. She makes
her most significant contribution in explaining how the Romanovs, beginning
with Peter I, arranged marriages with other European monarchies to perpetuate
their dynasty, and how they introduced secular and military ceremonies to mobi-
lize social support for their rule. The construction of St. Petersburg in 1711the
dynastys sacred landscape, with symbolic and mythological associations
provided the Romanovs with the locus for their authority, just as Peter Is legacy
became the standard by which all of his successors measured their effectiveness
(65). Though Catherine II embraced and benefited from the Petrine legacy, others
(Paul I, Nicholas I) were paralyzed by it, and the last tsar, Nicholas II, sought
escape in the traditions and ceremonies of Peters Muscovite predecessors. Indeed,
as Hughes shows, as the Romanovs became increasingly preoccupied with their
family business and publicly equated the harmony of an idyllic Romanov family
with the stable paternalistic rule of Russia, they lost contact with the empire they
governed.
Even exceptional books have limitations, and in this case the authors analysis
of the reigns of Alexander II, Alexander III, and Nicholas II provides too little
information on tsarisms structural shortcomings and the social and economic
distress in Russia for the reader to appreciate why the Romanovs lost virtually all
BOOK REVIEWS 695

support in 1917. That said, however, Hughes has written what will be the
standard book in English on the dynasty that defined Russias place in Europe and
its ambivalent relationship with the West.
Monmouth University Thomas S. Pearson

Contesting the German Empire, 18711918. By Matthew Jefferies. (Malden, Mass.:


Blackwell Publishing, 2008. Pp. vi, 242. $92.95.)

In the introduction, Matthew Jefferies outlines his goal of presenting an updated


historiography of the Kaiserreich that reflects the current debates in the field. He
largely succeeds in this task. Jefferies has written a concise book that renders the
work of other historians discernable to the reader. He treats his subjects and their
works fairly, in general leaving the praise and criticism of any particular work to
the other authors he cites. This balanced treatment additionally applies to the
approaches that Jefferies examines; throughout the book, he upholds the conten-
tion that though all approaches to history may not be equally valid, each offers
something valuable to scholars.
The greatest strength of this book lies in its writing. Jefferies presents his
material in a straightforward manner. He provides enough details to satiate a
German scholar, yet a reader with little background in German history would find
the book valuable too. Altogether the author educates the reader about many
notable scholarly works on the German Empire. In chapter one, Jefferies surveys
the evolution of German history chronologically from the outset of the empire
through the present. He effectively compares and contrasts many books and
articles and succinctly summarizes the relationships among the historians and
their respective works, placing a strong emphasis on the German historians who
have contributed scholarship.
In chapters two through six, he appraises the empire thematically. Among the
more valuable themes he reviews are the history of the Sonderweg thesis, the rise
of Alltagsgeschichte, and the significance of the Fischer controversy. Regarding the
Sonderweg thesis, Jefferies not only defines the issue effectively, but he also places
it within a historical context. He shows how this notion, that Germany developed
along a special historical path, began around the turn of the twentieth century as
a positive concept, but how, after the Second World War, it provided a framework
through which historians could scrutinize German history from the Kaiserreich
through the Third Reich. With Alltagsgeschichte, the author explores the growth
of this history, pointing out the valuable insights offered by the approach as well
as the deficiencies caused by only studying history from below. Finally, Jefferies
696 THE HISTORIAN

assesses the scholarship of Fritz Fischer, the ensuing controversy, and the impact
of this debate. He poignantly notes that although the quarrel among historians
has ended, its legacy is important, as most of the extensive scholarship on the First
World War would have never been produced without Fischers contentious thesis.
There are some weaknesses in this book. In the second chapter, the author
examines Bismarck and Wilhelm II, but overemphasizes the life and service of the
former. Though this disparity exists in the literature he reviews, Jefferies does not
clearly address this issue at the beginning of the chapter when he discusses the
current state of biographies in German history. The other weakness is chapter six,
in which Jefferies briefly delves into the future of German imperial history and
suggests that consumer history and memory studies are two areas of potential
historical exploration. Although these ideas are valid, chapter six overall feels
incomplete; it is not as well rounded as the other chapters, nor is it a stand alone
conclusion. These two weaknesses, however, are minor, and they do not detract
from the value of this work, which again undoubtedly meets the authors intention
of writing an up-to-date historiography of the German Empire.
Florida State University Amy Carney

Bandits and Partisans: The Antonov Movement in the Russian Civil War. By Erik C.
Landis. (Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008. Pp. xvi, 381. $50.00.)

This history of the Tambov Rebellion [19201921] is the second account to


appear in English and the first since the breakup of the USSR. It was precipitated
by the Soviet governments brutal policy of grain requisitions during the civil war.
In 1920 requisitions were increased in Tambov by 50 percent; peasants resisted
and produced less. Near starvation ensued in the strategic region (located about
three hundred miles southeast of Moscow). The revolt began on a small scale in
August but spread to Samara, Saratov, Astrakhan, Tsaritsyn, and as far as Siberia.
It took the form of a fierce anti-Communist populism that promised to give all
land to the peasants and restore the Constituent Assembly. The movements
military and political leadership came from Alexander Antonov and the Union of
Working Peasants, respectively; both had ill-defined connections to the Socialist
Revolutionary Party.
In October 1920, Antonovs peasant armyswelled by numerous deserters
may have numbered as many as fifty thousand men. When the Red Army finally
prevailed in 1921, total deaths in the Tambov region are estimated by B. V.
Sennikov to have reached nearly a quarter of a million people. To quell the
BOOK REVIEWS 697

rebellion the Soviets also had to make the key concession of abandoning the
forced expropriation of grain in favor of a much less onerous tax in kind, the New
Economic Policy (NEP).
In his introductory remarks, Erik C. Landis argues that participation in the
rebellionmore than ideology or politicsdetermined the loyalties and identities
of rebels, as well as their subsequent behavior. Thus they could be rebels at one
moment and bandits at another, violent opponents of the Soviet regime and then
passive supporters. The constant on the Soviet side was the imperative of procur-
ing grain at whatever cost for their key constituencies in the army and the urban
working class (88). On the other side, the rebels focused on the arbitrariness and
excesses of the expropriations as evidence of the Communist disregard for peasant
interests. By identifying the Bolsheviks as Jews, they also appealed to the anti-
Semitism that was endemic among the Russian peasantry (147, 189). The NEP
notwithstanding, what proved decisive in the end was coercion. Landis quotes a
Soviet official in 1921: Without executions, nothing can be achieved (238).
This is a thoroughly researched and intelligently constructed book. The author
makes good use of relevant Russian archives and draws extensively on the rich
body of secondary literature in both Russian (notably V. Danilov, T. Shanin, M.
Molodtsygin) and English. In the latter regard, Landis goes beyond the earlier
works of Oliver Radkey and Seth Singleton, even if he does not significantly alter
their accounts. But surprisingly there is no mention of Sennikovs important work
or of parallel developments in other theaters of the Russian civil war. On occasion
Landis is uncritical in accepting Soviet versions of events (28, 70). And some of his
translations are too loose: poriadok (124), goriachii (130), nasilniki (141) surovo
(230), durnye (243), netrudosposobnye (246). The author is at his best in cap-
turing contemporary voices that continue to speak eloquently nearly a century
after the events.
Dalhousie University Norman G. O. Pereira

One Day That Shook the Communist World: The 1956 Hungarian Uprising and Its
Legacy. By Paul Lendvai. Translated by Ann Major. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton
University Press, 2008. Pp. 284. $27.95.)

Do historical events have to happen the way they did? Or, put in another way, is
history a record to be played by the historian? Paul Lendvais account of the 1956
Hungarian uprising raises these fundamental questions. Indeed, he argues that
the national fight for independence did not have the ghost of a chance. Lendvai
disclaims counterfactual history, which deals with how it actually should have
698 THE HISTORIAN

happened. Taking up the question of whether, even in defeat, the Hungarian


revolution was victorious, the author, a witness and chronicler of the events,
answers in the negative.
Resplendent with light, October 23, the starting day of the revolution, did
not foreshadow the dark ending. But as the optimistic, spontaneous, grassroots
movement unfolded, the prospects of a positive outcome became dimmer with the
passing of every hour. In Lendvais presentation, the revolutions history is one of
contradiction. The participantsintellectuals, workers, and othersshowed per-
sonal courage and resolution. The insurgentsmostly young menfought with
skill, as attested by the almost seven hundred victims of one of the worlds most
powerful armies. But their efforts ran afoul on incompetence, treachery, and the
mere power realities in Cold War Europe. The well-intentioned but indecisive,
procrastinating apparatchik, Imre Nagy, may have missed a chance on October 23
to keep events in a peaceful channel. By the time he switched sides, things had
already gone too far in the way of militarizing the conflict. Jnos Kdr endorsed
the multiparty system and Hungarian independence only to defect to Moscow and
establish a puppet government under the auspices of the Kremlin. Although many,
if not the majority, of Hungarians expected foreign assistancemany wielded
weapons in the expectation that they would not stand alone in fighting Soviet
tanksnone would be forthcoming, in spite of the fact that the Eisenhower
administration, at least in its propaganda, endorsed the rollback of communism in
Eastern Europe. Even though, as Soviet sources reveal, the CPS Presidium was
engulfed in heated debate about the appropriate response to the baffling events
that were transpiring in Hungary (and Poland) since the summer of 1956, given
the danger Hungary posted to the Soviet buffer zone in Eastern Europe, the
eventual decision to use overwhelming force to suppress the insurgents could
hardly have been different.
Even though the 1956 uprising failed to alter the course of Hungarian history,
it eroded the Western communist movement and, one may add, helped to trans-
form Soviet rule in Eastern Europe from domination to hegemony. After a period
of brutal and bloody reprisals, Cadre walked a tightrope between Moscow and
Hungarian society and introduced far-reaching political and economic reforms.
Some would disagree with the authors view that the revolution was bound to fail.
Nevertheless, Lendvai has produced a sophisticated narrative of complex events,
interweaving political, international, military, social, personal, and intellectual
history into a thick fabric of historical text. Importantly, he argues that 1956 is an
important year in Hungarian, and Western, heritage. Commendably, Lendvai
shows his intellectual debt to Hungarian scholars throughout the text. One Day
BOOK REVIEWS 699

That Shook the Communist World is one of the most readable and best English
language accounts of the Hungarian 1956 Uprising.
Institute of History, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Lszl Borhi

State and Society in Eighteenth-Century France: A Study of Political Power and Social
Revolution in Languedoc. By Stephen Miller. (Washington, D.C.: Catholic Univer-
sity of America Press, 2008. Pp. xi, 322. $79.95.)

Has a counterrevolution begun? Here is a work on the French Revolution and its
antecedents that offers solid, archivally based analysis of institutional, social, and
economic structures; their interdependence; and how they interacted in the
unprecedented crisis of the 1790s. Crisply and clearly written, forty years ago it
would have seemed an excellent if unsurprising contribution to the mainstream.
Today it is a breath of fresh air after over a generation in which academic fashion
has preferred cultural and linguistic issues, impenetrable language, rootless specu-
lations, and often vapid conclusions that have almost swamped the subject.
Steeped in the secondary literature, the author sets out to show how the Revolu-
tion in a great southern province, in the famous words of Tocqueville, sprang
spontaneously from what went before.
Stephen Millers starting point is in the power structures of Languedoc in the
seventeenth century, so memorably analyzed by William H. Beik in 1985 as an
elaborate understanding between the monarchy and provincial elites to extract
surplus from the working population. Miller sees this situation continuing through-
out the eighteenth century. If anything, the monarchy came to rely more than ever
on the peculiar institutions of Languedoc and the noblemen who operated them. He
is at one with recent studies of estates in other provinces in regarding these bodies
not as obstacles to royal power but increasingly effective instruments of tax and
loan raising. But not all nobles shared in the power of the estates, and when
authority broke down in the late 1780s, long-festering antagonisms among the
elites left them incapable of meeting the challenges unleashed against them. The
latter arose from the resentments of peasants whose efforts to maximize their
income were relentlessly negated by the greed of their lords and noble judges who
upheld their claims and the frustrations of townsmen excluded from power and
reward in their own communities by entrenched networks of venal magistrates.
Historians are back to a French Revolution driven by tangible material inter-
ests and social concerns. Or so it seems. Yet at various points Miller almost
appears alarmed by his own conclusions and practically contradicts himself in a
seeming desire not to break too obviously with Timothy Tackett or ditch Franois
700 THE HISTORIAN

Furet. Curiously, in a book from such a publisherand in a province where


sectarian antagonisms were uniquely importantthe treatment of religious issues
is fragmented and incoherently episodic. There are also the sort of mistakes about
the details of public life to which social historians are often prone. So far from
emigrating in 1792, for example, the Cardinal Archbishop of Albi had been
resident in Rome since 1769 as French ambassador (158). But these problems are
venial beside the fresh new light that Miller throws on the dynamics of the old
regimes collapse and the chaotic and vengeful episodes that followed, before
transformed elites resumed control of the institutions of the former Languedoc. If
the feudal burdens on the peasantry had gone, the unequal distribution of taxes,
wealth, and power continued far into the nineteenth century.
University of Bristol William Doyle

Hitlers New Disorder: The Second World War in Yugoslavia. By Stevan K. Pavlow-
itch. (New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, 2008. Pp. xix, 333. $34.50.)

The forward to this fine work begins with the following sentence: A synthetic
treatment of a complex topic it may be, but it has had a long gestation. Seldom
were truer words spoken.
Let us start with the long gestation. Stevan K. Pavlowitch has been lecturing
on this subject for decades at the University of Southampton and has also written
two other books on similar topics (a biography of Tito and a history of the name
Serbia). Now as emeritus professor, and perhaps with the added incentive of
witnessing another descent into chaos in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the
author has pulled together his lectures and writings on these varied issues into a
single monograph. The birth was worth the wait.
As for the complexities of this particular topic, one can hardly think of a more
confusing swirl of events and personalities than are presented here. In the one
major flaw in the book, the author does not help matters by starting in medias res
and does not provide a concise thesis or summary of these tumultuous times until
page 146 when readers are told the following:

The conquerors had both destroyed Yugoslavia as a state and set its com-
ponents against each other. An infernal cycle of massacres had been started
by the ustashas [Croats] against the Serbs. . . . The latter had risen in self-
defence, as chetniks and partisans who had gone on . . . to try and eliminate
each other and their supporters, while facing brutal periodic anti-insurgent
operations.
BOOK REVIEWS 701

The eventual winners, Tito and the Communists, succeeded because even
though they fought their revolutionary war in a shifting pattern, they did so
with a fanatic drive to power that still appeared as a broader patriotic
movement while their opponents were divided and localised (146147).
Pavlowitch does provide some helpful aids to compensate for the heavy dose
of detailseight pages of dramatis personae, an eight-page timeline, and five
pages of maps, all of which this reader consulted repeatedly. But overall, the
confusion of events and ever shifting alliances requires more frequent summa-
tions than an occasional chapter introduction and a middle of the book over-
view. In other words, the complex topic frequently overwhelms the authors
narrative efforts.
Nonetheless, this is still a very solid synthetic treatment that has long been
needed. It must have been a herculean effort to keep track of various events, let
alone make sense of all of the interweaving elements. Pavlowitch is to be com-
mended for doing so, and this book should therefore be included in library and
personal collections related to World War II, the Balkans, and military occupation
efforts, especially in a multiethnic environment. Anyone who has read through
this work will be sobered about the prospects for conquering, occupying, and/or
developing regions of the world such as the Balkans or the Middle East. One could
wish that this book had been available a decade or two earlier and had been read
by prominent members of our diplomatic and military establishments. One can
wish now that the next generation of public officials will do so.
John Brown University Ed Ericson III

Historicism and Fascism in Modern Italy. By David D. Roberts. (Toronto, Canada:


University of Toronto Press, 2007. Pp. vi, 370. $38.00.)

The author of this book here collects a series of compelling essays about the two
greatest Italian philosophers of the first half of the twentieth century and their
relationship to Fascism and to each other. Intellectual historians are accustomed to
think of Benedetto Croce and Giovanni Gentile as antagonists. Although the two
collaborated prior to the advent of Fascism, the connections between them, and
especially the shared sources of their historicist thought, were obscured by Croces
opposition to Fascism and Gentiles embrace of the Mussolini regime. Gentiles
leading role in the government, his assassination in 1944, and ultimately Fascisms
defeat and disgrace meant that his story became one of the most commonly told
moral tales of the postwar era. Croce meanwhile became a legendary and heroic
figure. It remains interesting to ponder what would have happened had Gentile
702 THE HISTORIAN

survived World War II. One younger protg, Delio Cantimori, executed an
about-face, and by becoming a Communist was able to continue a brilliant
academic career; Gentile, meanwhile, maintained confidence in Fascisms histori-
cal role and eventual triumph down to his lifes end.
It is hard to avoid judging things by their outcomes, but David D. Roberts asks
readers to suspend their knowledge of later events so that they can examine
Gentiles work from the perspective of the author and of contemporary readers,
including Croce. The result is an invigorating recovery of the ideas that launched
the Italian school of historicism in the early 1900s. Roberts shows how Croce and
Gentile, working in collaboration, sought to purge historicism of the romanticism
that imbued the German historicist school. How the two mens ideas diverged, not
suddenly in the 1920s, as is generally believed, but rather in writings from as early
as 1913, is a story that Roberts tells in various ways in the course of a number of
this books chapters. While Gentile held out for a totalizing view of history, Croce
insisted that there were a number of autonomous fields of human endeavor, such
as aesthetics and politics (as Machiavelli showed). Roberts argues that Gentiles
version of historicism was both more subtle and in some ways more coherent than
Croces. Tragically, Gentile believed that this more complete historicism would
find its expression in what Mussolini called approvingly lo stato totalitario.
What needs to be added, perhaps, is that a belief in autonomyespecially from
morality or historycan be pernicious, too.
Seton Hall University William J. Connell

Gallipoli: Attack from the Sea. By Victor Rudenno. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Uni-
versity Press, 2008. Pp. x, 338. $45.00.)

The Gallipoli peninsula kicks down like a dogs hind leg at the northeastern end
of the Mediterranean. It forms a partial barrier between the Aegean and the Sea
of Marmara, with the narrow Dardanelles straits between Europe and Asia. In
1915 it assumed extraordinary importance because an Anglo-French expedition
aimed at Constantinople first tried to land troops at Gallipoli in an effort to clear
the defenses from the landward side. Despite some tantalizing successes, the
campaign ended in Allied failure.
Part of its resonance stems from the fact that Australian and New Zealand
troops fought on Gallipoli. Indeed, one of the most significant recent books on the
campaign, Les Carlyons best-selling Gallipoli [2001] is preoccupied with the
antipodean experience. Victor Rudenno is Australian, but takes an unusual direc-
tion in focusing on maritime matters.
BOOK REVIEWS 703

Rudenno first considers the attack into the Dardanelles in March that was
abandoned after three battleships were lost to mines. He then reviews British
submarine activity before dealing with the landings at Cape Helles and Anzac
Cove in April. It is painful to read accounts of the assault on V Beach, where,
as one eyewitness observed, [t]he sea for a distance of about 50 yards from the
beach was red with blood . . . (81). These landings led to stalemate on the
peninsula, though there was more submarine activity in the waters around it, with
the Germans sinking both HMS Triumph and HMS Majestic, forcing the Allies to
move their capital ships out of harms way. In early August, another landing was
carried out, but the front was soon set solid again. After a third phase of
submarine operations, which saw the British raid as far as Constantinople, the
troops were evacuated by early January 1916.
Rudenno concludes that Gallipoli was perhaps one of the few strategic ideas
of the First World War that, if successful, could have lead to a shortening of the
conflict (264). However, he goes on to speculate on what the Allies might have
achieved had they actually reached Constantinople, demonstrating, as most ana-
lysts would now agree, that the campaign was by no means certain to achieve a
useful strategic outcome even if its tactics had been more deft.
Although the author relies heavily on secondary sources, he does, indeed,
enhance readers understanding of the campaign. The book is particularly strong
on submarine operations, whether British, French, or German, where unpublished
narratives are used to great advantage and the authors engineering background is
valuable. Rudenno has not been helped by editing that falls below the standard of
a distinguished university press. In the book, von der Goltz is spelled correctly in
one line and misspelled in another; stationery is used where stationary would be
appropriate; and the Dardanelles straits are in the singular. A bibliography should
help readers locate items mentioned therein, but the unpublished manuscripts
listed here are all unsourced. This useful book deserves better.
Cranfield University Richard Holmes

The Discovery of Guiana by Sir Walter Ralegh: With Related Documents. Edited by
Benjamin Schmidt. (Boston, Mass.: Bedford/St. Martins, 2008. Pp. xviii, 173.
$15.95.)

To say, as this author does, that Sir Walter Ralegh lived large is no exaggeration
(vii). Known to American students as the sponsor of the Roanoke voyages who
named Virginia for his queen, much of Raleghs lasting fame arose from his
encounter narrative, The Discovery of Guiana, published in 1596. In this volume,
704 THE HISTORIAN

intended for undergraduate history courses, Benjamin Schmidt offers an introduc-


tion to Ralegh and his era, a critical edition of The Discovery, related documents,
a chronology, questions for consideration, and a brief bibliography. He success-
fully explains, interprets, and contextualizes The Discovery in the process.
Ralegh was a model Elizabethan and Renaissance man, with all the
accomplishmentsand ambition, vanity, and (often misplaced) self-confidence
that implies. He famously rose at court through his dash and wit, but also delivered
when it counted, helping repel the Spanish Armada and reaping rewards heaped on
him by a grateful queen. Having overreached through an unauthorized marriage
to one of Elizabeths maids in 1591, Ralegh found himself exiled from court and
out of favor, a situation he sought to remedy by a bold expedition to Guiana
along South Americas Orinoco River. Although the expedition itself was hardly a
successRalegh conquered no lands, found no stores of wealth, and discovered
little not observed by earlier adventurershe created a triumph for himself by
publishing The Discovery. Aimed mainly at queen and court, the account became
an international success and the source of much of Raleghs lasting fame.
The Discovery combines accounts of Guianas geography and ethnography
(mainly later confirmed) with an allegory of courteous conquest whereby
Ralegh proposes a countermodel to Spains violent New World exploitation
(described in several Related Documents in this volume) (15). Despite repeated
assurances of Guianas wealth in gold, jewels, and valuable staples and of the ease
with which Spain could be defeated and the obeisance of the natives won, Ralegh
delivers none of this, instead employing a rhetorical strategy that permits great
feats to be promised, described and broached, but never convincingly consum-
mated (34). The wealth and wonderssupported by hearsay and thirdhand
accountsof Guiana are always just out of reach, it seems, and Ralegh again
failed ignominiously to deliver them in a 16171618 Guiana expedition and
second quest for redemption after another personal disaster, his alleged treasonous
opposition to James Is accession.
Schmidt places Ralegh and The Discovery in historical and literary context,
allowing students to approach the documents with sufficient apparatus to engage
with them effectively. Readers might quibble a bit with Schmidts contextualizing
of The Discovery (an air of Derrida hangs in the background), but mainly his
guidance is wise, thoughtful, and useful for the intended audience, and perhaps as
well for overworked instructors whose engagement with source material could
benefit from a refresher course.
John Tyler Community College David M. Head
BOOK REVIEWS 705

Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, Medicine and Power in the Third Reich. By Ulf
Schmidt. (London, England: Hambledon Continuum, 2007. Pp. xvi, 480. $29.95.)

Karl Brandt is one of the most important individuals from the Third Reich who
has not been examined in a biography. He was Adolf Hitlers personal physician,
one of the people most responsible for the so-called Euthanasia Program, which
was no less than the murder of children and adults with physical and mental
handicaps. He became the General Commissioner for Health and Sanitation
during the last phase of the war, with far-reaching power and authority, and finally
was the most important figure in the postwar Physicians Trial at Nuremberg.
Ulf Schmidt has digested and transcended the historiographic debates of the
past few decades over the relative importance that should be assigned to personal
action or structural forces in the Third Reich. Brandt, his career, and his own
ambition are excellent vehicles for examining and understanding how the German
government functioned under National Socialism and, in particular, the politics
within the ruling political elite and the importance of enjoying Hitlers ear,
what the author calls detached leadership.
Hitler surrounded himself with men and women who did not question or argue
over what he said and why he said it. The author uses Brandts own postwar
description of Eva Braun to illuminate Brauns own position in the Third Reich.
He writes, Eva Braun herself would not have been justified in doubting Hitlers
loyalty, for as long as she remained the chosen one at his side, she had very little
to fear. After all, Hitler had done much for Eva in discovering her as an almost
nonentity and moving her to prominence by his side (72). The author uses Brandt
effectively to shed light on many of the leading Nazis, including Hitler himself.
Schmidt demonstrates how political and military events were interwoven with
National Socialist racial policy, and thereby helps clarify both. Thus, for example,
he notes that Hitlers first push to implement the euthanasia campaign came
after it was clear that Poland was defeated, and his second major push came after
the western campaign, culminating in the defeat of France, was a stunning success.
Euthanasia was clearly a goal Hitler wanted to pursue, but only when the
political conditions were right. Schmidt also makes Brandts responsibility clear.
He says, Brandt and [Philipp] Bouhler modified and widened the target popu-
lation almost at random as the programme progressed . . . the regime temporarily
adjusted its policy in the face of public concerns and external pressures. Whenever
public disquiet had subsided, however, Brandt and others showed their true
colours and pressed for the murder of all those whom they considered to be a
burden to the state (156). At the same time, it is striking that Brandt showed the
706 THE HISTORIAN

same sort of detached leadership as Hitler, together with Bouhler laying down
the general framework and deciding the general policy direction of the program,
but leaving the execution to others and never exercising any meaningful supervi-
sion or control.
Schmidts thorough, subtle, and engaging masterpiece is an important contri-
bution to the history and historiography of National Socialism.
Union College Mark Walker

Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man. By Hugh Sebag-Montefiore. (Cambridge, Mass.:


Harvard University Press, 2006. Pp. xvii, 701. $35.00.)

The author of this book provides a fascinating reconstruction of how the British
Expeditionary Force (BEF) fought bravely to extricate itself from Dunkirk. With
an avowed focus on the dramatic and heroic, the work has a clear agenda: to
glorify the heroism and bravery of BEF soldiers who seized victory from the jaws
of defeat. It narrates the experiences of individual British soldiers and ably
chronicles the disintegration of Anglo-French cooperation. The author excels in
depicting how British commanders and soldiers perceived the setbacks that cul-
minated in the Dunkirk evacuation. The compelling narrative is well supported
with numerous maps and previously unpublished photographs that augment the
engrossing read.
The author is an amateur historian and herein lies the works scholarly limi-
tations. Hugh Sebag-Montefiore has apparently read few of the works on the
1940 Western Campaign produced over the last thirty years. Moreover, his
avowed eulogization of British heroism is problematic; it exonerates the British
military from responsibility for what was a stunning defeat. For, according to
Sebag-Montefiore, the real explanation lies elsewhere: inept British politicians
and cowardly French leaders and troops. The author completely glosses over the
failure of the interwar British government to prepare strenuously for war. The
amateurism that the author glorifies was in fact a root cause of the campaign
debacle that culminated with the miracle of Dunkirk. There is something
quintessentially British (and the reviewer is British) about being woefully unpre-
pared for something and then making a jolly good try of muddling through
against great odds. When this happens in cricket or tennis, the consequences are
far less profound than in war. British unpreparedness and amateurism directly
contributed to the heavy British casualties and the tremendous equipment losses.
The author perpetuates the impression that the British military endured in
1940 even with an apathetic, defeatist, and cowardly French military that brought
BOOK REVIEWS 707

defeat on the Allies. Yet the author seems unaware of the literature that has
presented a more accurate and sophisticated view of French defeat. We now know
that individual French units stood and fought as heroically at Sedan as did
individual British units at Dunkirk. Likewise, the author displays no understand-
ing that the slow and methodical French reactions were products of the evolution
of interwar French doctrine, as ably documented elsewhere by Robert Doughty. In
fact, nowhere does the author demonstrate understanding that armies operate in
accordance with doctrines.
Thus when the author moves away from the central themea reconstruction
of the experiences of members of the BEF on the retreat to Dunkirkhe loses his
solid footing. The emphasis of the dramatic precludes exploration of historical
causation. Throughout the book, the author makes uneven judgments based upon
hindsight. He demonstrates little understanding of the existence of friction and fog
in war, yet confidently extols what his historical characters must have thought and
felt.
Sebag-Montefiores powerful and evocative reconstruction of the experiences
of BEF soldiers in the retreat to Dunkirk is worth reading, but it offers little that
is novel or particularly insightful in explaining the calamity that befell Britain, its
military, and its people in May 1940.
Hawaii Pacific University Russell A. Hart

Sex and Sensuality in the Ancient World. By Giulia Sissa. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale
University Press, 2008. Pp. viii, 213. $38.00.)

The tyrannical insatiability of desire (sensuality) in the ancient Greek and


Roman worlds might cause a reader to wonder how these cultures flourished so
magnificently while mortals labored under such sexual compulsion. Giulia Sissa
intends to demonstrate, in Sex and Sensuality in the Ancient World (a translation
of Eros tiranno: Sessualita e sensualita nel mondo antico), an anthropology of
ancient sensuality based upon the naturalistic foundation of ancient thoughts
on sex. She rejects the Foucauldian sophisticated and historicist awareness of
[E]ross complexities as a betrayal of the ancient world. Sissa strongly disputes
Foucaults thesis that the ancients never had a hermeneutics of desire, only the
use, organization, and monitoring of sexual behavior (199). For the most part,
Sissas book itself can only present desire in the ancient world through a prism of
the control of sexuality, which prescribed and proscribed desire through medical,
philosophical, literary, forensic, and religious discourses, among others. She does
not help her cause by not engaging with lyric poetry, a genre explicitly devoted to
708 THE HISTORIAN

celebrating Eross invincibility, citing a plethora of scholarship already devoted to


the topic.
The book incorporates and often significantly recasts Sissas earlier work on
sex and gender; of particular interest is what appears to be an English translation
of an article on desire and Latin poetry originally published in a French Freudian
psychoanalytical journal not widely available in North America and unavailable
online. This collection and reiteration of previous work, however, inhibits a strong
cohesive argument through the text; for example, Relationships, a chapter on
both Athenian marriage practices and tragic heroines, does not hew closely to an
engagement with sexual desire. Many of the discussions will not contain new
observations for students of sex and gender in the ancient world: Sissas treatment
of Against Timarchus, of philosophical and medical constructs of male and female
bodies, of the femininity of tragic heroines, among others, will be familiar terri-
tory to many readers. The bibliography is quite small for a book of this size and
range, and its inadequacy becomes apparent in a lack of engagement with current
scholarship in literary areas in particular, for example, Penelope in the Odyssey:
Sissa contends that there are no narrative reasons that oblige Penelope to keep all
possibilities open (27).
While this reviewer was utterly unconvinced by Sissas argument for a textual,
generic progression in ancient culture from a prelapsarian Homeric world in
which desire is satisfied by pleasure to a fallen Platonic philosophical model of
insatiability, her elucidation of similar Hesiodic, Platonic, and biblical or Chris-
tian narratives of the origins of insatiable sexual desire seems to come closest to
an anthropology of desire. Sissa traces humanitys separation from a communion
with divinity and our subsequent mortality, which necessitates reproduction for
humanitys survival. Sexual dimorphism provides the technical means for repro-
duction, and insatiable desire, proof of humanitys degraded state, the lubricant.
Here readers can see, contrary to Foucaults argument for a radical split between
ancient and Christian thought, a shared concept of humanitys fall.
University of Victoria Ingrid E. Holmberg

The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke. By Timothy Snyder. (New
York, N.Y.: Basic Books, 2008. Pp. vii, 344. $27.95.)

Finding pathos in a self-centered careerist who at one point or other was a


monarchist, militarist, fascist, anti-Semite, democrat, and anticommunist is hard.
Nevertheless, readers who can suppress such moral reservations about Archduke
Wilhelm of Habsburg are in for a revealing, if unevenly told, story. A remote
BOOK REVIEWS 709

nephew of Emperor Franz Josef, Wilhelm grew up in a family with holdings


scattered around the easternmost reaches of the Habsburg empire. Bizarre and
occasionally sordid adventures took him all over the continent from his youth to
his controversial death in a Soviet gulag around 1948. Trained for command in his
dynastys armies, Wilhelm hoped to advance both his fortunes and those of his
house by co-opting the Ukrainian national movement in Habsburg Galicia before
World War I. With some backing from Vienna and even more from various local
factions, he proposed to rule them in an autonomous kingdom within his familys
empire. His interest in and active commitment to Ukrainian independence was the
one constant of his life. Indeed, it betrayed him in 1947, when Soviet agents
kidnapped him at a Vienna railroad station and sent him, tuberculosis, heart
disease, and all, off to his end.
Schemes that never came to fruition abound in Timothy Snyders narrative.
Though such material can tax a readers patience, it amply conveys the flavor of
European political and social instability through the central decade of the twen-
tieth century. Indeed, the archdukes unsettled private lifehe was almost cer-
tainly bisexualis a tale of ambiguity and uncertainty. More specifically, Snyder
is very informative on the political development of modern Ukraine, a question of
some interest in our own time. Equally valuable for historians is his account of
efforts to restore Habsburg rule in Austria or Hungary. Finally, Snyders story
adds compelling evidence to what most students of the Habsburg Empire have
long sensed: that the dynasty never stopped putting family first.
A man with a good nose for archives, Snyder obviously hoped to reach general
readers by avoiding opaque professorial jargon and narcotizing chronological
minutiae. The tactic sometimes compresses his narrative misleadingly. To follow
the date of the founding of the Order of the Golden Fleece [1430] with a statement
of the orders mission to retake Istanbul from the Turks implies that the Byzantine
capital was in Muslim hands long before 1453 (52). One wonders at the statement
that the Habsburgs were entrapped in Vienna during the Ottoman siege of
1683 (10). Emperor Leopold and his family had fled, leaving the defense at first
to the locals. Nor is there time to say that Emperor Ferdinand I founded his
dynastys central European empire; Snyder leaves the impression that it was
Emperor Charles Vs doing. And a sterner editor should have pruned a rambling
final chapter that goes from Wilhelms disappearance to a commentary on post-
1989 Europe and its Habsburg-like features. It is not altogether off the mark, but
a bit of a stretch nonetheless.
Brooklyn, New York Paula Sutter Fichtner
710 THE HISTORIAN

Jews and Judaism in the Middle Ages. By Theodore L. Steinberg. (Westport, Conn.,
and London, England: Praeger, 2008. Pp. xviii, 302. $49.95.)

This book is a labor of love. Writing as an accomplished scholar of medieval


English literature and an avowed amateur Jewish historian, the author introduces
ancient Judaism and then presents medieval Jewish history as a summary of the
political, economic, social, and especially the religious and cultural achievements
Jews produced despite living under severe restrictions much of the time.
Basically Jews served a useful role in Christian and Muslim societies and had
the theoretical support of central institutions wherever they lived. Life for Jews
was generally more uncertain in Christian Europe, especially after the unexpect-
edly brutal anti-Jewish riots in the Rhineland that accompanied preparations
for the First Crusade, than in Muslim lands, a standard contrast for over two
centuries of historiography. In the late medieval centuries, European Jews were
legally removed from England, Royal France, most German cities, and by 1492
from Castile and Aragon, when the narrative closes.
Despite these travails, some rabbinic figures, writing in Muslim cities, managed
to make ancient Talmudic Judaism widely accepted, though in smaller European
towns other rabbis wrote lucid commentaries that made both the Hebrew Bible
and the Talmud more accessible.
For the most part, the author tries to provide enough background information
so that the general reader, for whom this book was written, can follow. A glossary
would have been a big help for many readers.
Despite a nod to the late Salo Baron, who bemoaned what he called the
lachrymose approach to Jewish history as one of continuous suffering, the old
categories of persecution and literary creativity still provide the main story line
(xv, 105). More Jewish agency might have been included had the author taken
advantage of the late Haim Hillel Ben-Sassons medieval chapters of his A History
of the Jewish People, or Jacob Katzs Exclusiveness and Tolerance and Tradition
and Crisis. The story would then not be so much about whether Christians and
Muslims did or did not persecute the Jews more or less, but more about how Jews
thought about and sometimes acted out as Jews and how Christians and Muslims
acted as Christians and Muslims toward them in return.
Occasionally the author soars as when he writes about the image of the Jew in
Old English texts and in Chaucer (122127). But there are also a few slips, such
as a reference to the expulsion, rather than forced conversion, of the Jews in
Portugal or that Jews in Germany ritually martyred themselves during the Second
Crusade as well as during the first (134, 109). The Jewish parody of the Gospels,
BOOK REVIEWS 711

Toledot Yeshu [Life of Jesus] actually did outrage Agobard, Bishop of Lyons, in
the ninth century, despite the authors uncertainty that Christian authorities knew
about it (86). Steinberg also obscures the fact that most rabbinical authors in
medieval Europe understood contemporary Christians to be just like ancient
pagans, a point Katz makes extremely clear (44).
Yale University Ivan G. Marcus

Carnal Commerce in Counter-Reformation Rome. By Tessa Storey. (Cambridge,


England: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Pp. xvi, 296. $99.00.)

This is social history at its best: theoretically informed, historically contextualized,


and firmly based on a rich collection of archival and published sources. The story
is the suppression of prostitution in papal Rome; it begins with the rigorous and
austere pontificate of Paul IV, followed by his successors Pius IV, Pius V, and
Sixtus Vall devoted to stamping out sin in the capital of the reforming Catholic
world. The harsh edicts of exile, imprisonment, and urban confinement, however,
met persistent and long-term resistance, not only from the prostitutes themselves,
but also from the male elites who governed the commune of Rome, who found the
strict enforcement of the papal edicts detrimental to the communes economic
interests and to the real social needs of the city. The history that Tessa Storey has
reconstructed tells a tale of real compromise that goes beyond the words of
legislation. Counter-Reformation Rome was a city of immigrants, where men
vastly outnumbered women. It was also a city with a sizeable aristocratic class
prelates, aristocrats, and ambassadorsserviced by prostitutes (or at least the
high end of the profession).
In addition to the imbalanced sex ratio, one must also remember the marital
regime of early modern Italy, wherein a large number of upper-class men remained
unmarried or married at a late age, which constituted a social reality that rendered
complete suppression of prostitution unrealizable. Moreover, as Storey argues
convincingly, with comparison to the harsher moral regimes in Protestant north-
ern Europe, a more tolerant attitude existed in Rome: there was wide recognition
that often women engaged in the sex trade out of poverty, and that as long as these
transactions were discreet and free of scandal, the dishonest women themselves
were accepted as neighbors. All of this and much more Storey reconstructed from
the archives of Rome. She brings to bear an impressive array of sourcespolice
records, reports (avvisi), parish lists, contemporary prints, and chapbooksin
order to reconstruct the larger social and cultural contexts of prostitution, as well
as the policy debates and the policing of prostitution.
712 THE HISTORIAN

Along the way, Storey gives readers a good picture, to the extent her sources
allow, of the social profile of Roman prostitutes, their wealth and social grada-
tions (ranging from rich and famous courtesans to destitute prostitutes), the
process of becoming a prostitute, the business end of the profession, the material
goods of courtesan homes, and the clientele of prostitutes. Drawing from the
verbatim testimonies of Roman police records, Storey gives the reader many
portraits and stories of the women and sometimes the men involved. Not all are
stories of violence and degradation, as Storey reminds readers, because prostitu-
tion, for the women themselves and in Storeys interpretation, was a form of
work, in which many of the women exercised a high degree of control. Extensive
reference and comparison with case studies in England, Amsterdam, Germany,
and other Italian cities place the findings of this book in a larger context that is of
great interest to historians of early modern Europe.
Pennsylvania State University R. Po-chia Hsia

Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt. By Joyce Tyldesley. (New York, N.Y.: Basic Books,
2008. Pp. xiii, 290. $27.50.)

Cleopatra VII, Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt from 5130 BCE, remains a mythic figure
to both popular and academic historians. Accomplished Egyptologist Joyce
Tyldesley attempts to shed light on the complicated reign of Cleopatra in order to
put Cleopatra back into her own, predominately Egyptian context (4). Tyldesley
is clearly aware of the rich historical corpus that undergirds the life and times of
this Ptolemaic queen. In her retelling of Cleopatras story, she draws on estab-
lished archaeological and classical sources to advance a new reading of this largely
misunderstood figure. Tyldesley, for example, argues that she provides more of
the archaeological and historical detective work that underpins Cleopatras story
than is perhaps usual in a biography (4).
Although the author is clearly sympathetic to Cleopatra, her efforts to reinter-
pret the queens life for a popular audience fall short due to the uneven organi-
zation of her book. Tyldesley begins by arguing that an almost complete lack
of primary sources limits the ability of the historian to write a conventional
biography of Cleopatra (7). In chapters one and two, the author discusses
Cleopatras quick rise to power, followed in chapter three by a tangential discus-
sion of Alexandria. She then abruptly segues into Cleopatras infamous political
and sexual relationship with Julius Caesar in chapter four. In chapters five through
seven, the author covers ground familiar to most Egyptologists. Tyldesley eluci-
dates Cleopatras attempts to reframe her religious identity as a new manifestation
BOOK REVIEWS 713

of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis, her sexual and strategic partnership with
Marc Antony, and the murky political circumstances surrounding the queens
suicide. The concluding chapters of the book, which encompass the period after
Cleopatras death and the fate of her children, are interesting but brief. In the final
chapter, History Becomes Legend, she raises a number of intriguing ideas and
observations about the historical inaccuracies surrounding Cleopatras historical
image. For example, Tyldesley notes that medieval Arab historians were able to
develop a parallel understanding of Egypts past, which included a very different
version of Cleopatra from that recognized in the West (212). This is an important
intervention and one that requires further elaboration, but Tyldesley does not
choose to explain why a distorted image of Cleopatra continues to exist in
Euro-American scholarship and popular culture.
That the author fails to do so is odd. She is obviously familiar with her source
material and is well versed in the various debates surrounding Cleopatra. As a
lecturer in Egyptology (specializing in Egyptian queens) at Manchester Univer-
sity, a consultant for several television programs, and the critically acclaimed
author of numerous books in the field, Tyldesley should be able to explain her
subject matter in a manner accessible to both academics and a general audience.
However, the biographical information covered in this book is already familiar
to Egyptologists. The books rambling prose also makes it off-putting to non-
specialists. Although Tyldesley includes a helpful Who Was Who? chapter, a
succinct chronology of Ancient Egyptian dynasties, and suggestions for further
reading, her opaque writing style will intimidate all but the most dedicated
reader.
Hofstra University Mario Ruiz

Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de Medici. By Miles J.
Unger. (New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, 2008. Pp. ix, 513. $32.00.)

The Medici family is one of the most famous, and infamous, of the Renaissance.
Their lives, history, fortunes, and fame are indistinguishable from that of Florence.
The author of this book strives to show that the best of them, Lorenzo, was
himself inextricably linked both to his family and to the city. This work traces the
life of Lorenzo di Piero di Cosimo de Medici from his birth in 1449 through his
death in 1492 and the period following. Miles J. Unger takes advantage of the
epilogue to further contextualize the life of Lorenzo by tracing the terrible period
of chaos and decline immediately after his death through the revival of Medici
power under Giovanni, who was crowned Pope Leo X.
714 THE HISTORIAN

Although based on thorough research, using a wide variety of published


primary and secondary sources, there is little new information in this biography
for historians conversant with the Medici family and the history of Florence
during this lively time. The text is both narrative and extremely descriptive, but it
lacks concerted analysis. Unger uses footnotes to explicate particular and some-
times peculiar points and utilizes the endnotes only to credit direct quotes from the
source materials. Freed from typical academic conventions, the text is decidedly
more narrative in structure and enhanced by additional materials such as the
glossary of Florentine government, the Medici family tree, and color images of
Florentine landmarks and art. In addition to these features, Unger contributes two
unique perspectives to the context of Lorenzos life: his talent as an art historian
and critic as well as the time he lived in Florence. These are employed to great
effect in his descriptions of the city of the Medici family, such as in his comparative
description of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi: Walking through its largely empty
rooms and corridors one gets little hint of its former opulence. . . . Gone is Pieros
private study, whose walls were covered floor to ceiling in elaborate patterns of
inlaid wood and whose collection of objets dart so impressed visitors (36).
Ungers treatment of Lorenzos dynamic life strikes a balance between the
personality of the man and his actions. Set between the political machinations of
Florentine elections and the rivalry and relations with Rome is the commissioning
of great works of art from the many masters of the age as well as composition of
poetry by Lorenzo himself. This symmetry and thoroughness are hallmarks of the
book. In addition to providing a sense of the past grandeur of Florence and the
Medicis, Ungers purpose is to describe Lorenzo de Medici not only as a product
of his age, but also as the driving force in shaping the Renaissance in Florence and
Italy. As implied by the title, the Lorenzo and Florence presented by Unger
embody the dichotomy of beauty and brutality: The fiercely competitive atmo-
sphere of the Florentine Republic accounted for both its cruelty and its genius
(326). Like Lorenzos contemporaries, Ungers biography humanizes and at the
same time memorializes him.
University of Southern Indiana Jason Hardgrave

Unwritten Rome. By T. P. Wiseman. (Exeter, England: University of Exeter Press,


2008. Pp. x, 366. $37.95).

It is an act of bravery to write anything about the early history of Rome and rather
rare to produce anything really worthwhile. Unwritten Rome is a learned and
beautifully produced book whose copiously annotated lessons are best absorbed
BOOK REVIEWS 715

by a learned audience (Greek and Latin are translated, though not French or
German) that is able to untangle the many complex knots this book presents. It is
not, however, a book whose thesis is easy to state or even discern. The author
launches into his vexing topic without introduction or even preface; at once
readers find themselves immersed in T. P. Wisemans laboratory, where the literary
remains of Ennius, Livy, Ovid, and many other Roman authors are subjected to
rigorous analysis in light of the evidence of archaeology and other disciplines as
well as Wisemans own appraisal and interpretation of various Latin writers.
In one sense, Unwritten Rome is a laboratory reporta collection of findings
that ostensibly moves readers to a greater understanding of the whole (in this case,
what really happened during the Roman monarchy and the nascent Republic). The
approach is idiosyncratic; an author seeking to elucidate the reality of Rome before
the city was ruined, as it were, by anachronistic writers does not need to expend so
much effort criticizing (e.g., Rolando Ferris exemplary commentary on Senecas
Octavia, a text whose importance for Wisemans purpose is questionable). Unwrit-
ten Rome is something less than the sum of its parts, for the author attempts to do
far too much; there may be three books buried in the books pages (or a bakers
dozen of journal articles), the union of which is not always felicitous. The title itself
is misleading; this book is about written Rome as much as anything else, even in the
most archaeological and art historical sections (e.g., the chapter on the House of
Tarquin). Poetic evidence is always problematic, and here more so than usual, since
Ennius and Ovid are seemingly given somewhat higher status as reliable guides to
early Rome than Livy, with (paradoxically) both too little and too much attention
paid to the Augustan context that nursed both Livy and Ovid. There is a dizzying
quality to this book as Wiseman moves quickly and often between vastly different
centuries and authors in his quest to uncover the truth about ancient Rome (for
indeed, this books central topic is nothing less than that lofty goal).
Wisemans book will reward those scholars who can appreciate the significance
of what the author has omitted as much as the value of all he has included,
especially in light of the authors distinguished previous publications. This book
will be rather slow going for anyone not well versed in both Latin literature and
Roman history and will be best appreciated by those who have absorbed Wise-
mans earlier work and are comfortable with the controversies surrounding the
authors under consideration. There is a great deal of interest and value here, even
if upon finishing this latest offering from a master Romanist, the reader may
remember individual trees more than the elusive forest.
Ohio Wesleyan University Lee Fratantuono
716 THE HISTORIAN

Philip II of Macedonia. By Ian Worthington. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University


Press, 2008. Pp. xl, 254. $35.00.)

Alexander the Great deserves his reputation as a pivotal figure in world history.
This books author, like many historians before him, is equally impressed by
Alexanders father, Philip II. Philip came to power in 359 BC when Macedonia,
long wracked by disputes over the royal succession and by foreign intervention,
was in a shambles: the previous king had died in battle, the army was shattered,
and several foreign powers were invading the county in support of rival claimants
to the throne. Over a reign of twenty-three years, Philip turned Macedonia from
the sick man of Greece into its dominant state. He then began the invasion of
the Persian empire that his son would continue and complete.
Most of Ian Worthingtons book consists of a detailed narrative of the political
and military history of Philips reign, a difficult endeavor since the sources are
scanty, late, and biased. But Worthington goes beyond political history and
considers the economic, cultural, and social background and results of Philips
activities. Philip emerges as an extremely efficient yet ruthless and amoral ruler. In
line with most scholarship since George Cawkwells brilliant Philip of Macedon
[1978], Worthington resists the Atheno-centric bias of contemporary sources
especially the speeches of Demosthenesand puts Philips actions in a Mace-
donian context; he strove always for the security and later the wealth and power
of his kingdom. Although Worthington shares the contempt for Demosthenes and
Athens characteristic of this school (e.g., 158, 202) and believes that the struggle
against Macedonia was hopeless (e.g., 193), he also emphasizes Philips lack of
scruple (e.g., 42, 114).
In the course of his narrative, Worthington presents several original argu-
ments and enters into numerous long-standing controversies with mixed results.
For example, he firmly and reasonably assigns to Athens the responsibility for
the war that ended with Athens defeat at Chaeroneia in 338 BC (126). He
adds, however, the surprising theory that Athens did not notice that Philip had
declared war on them in 341 BC and that Philip attacked Byzantium to goad
Athens into action even though he knew that the siege would fail (132). Philip
suffered only a few setbacks, but that is no reason to try to explain them away.
The book also contains some careless slips and inconsistencies: for example,
Worthington contrasts the length of the Macedonian sarissa, a long pike, with
the usual short sword that Greek infantrymen carried to stab at the enemy
(27). In fact the spear, also shorter than the sarissa, was the main weapon of
Greek infantry.
BOOK REVIEWS 717

Overall, the strengths are: the authors impressive range, his knowledge of the
scholarship on Philip, and his lively prose. Scholars may disagree or wish for more
sustained or persuasive arguments on a number of points; the general reader may
occasionally be led astray. Nevertheless, this is an important book on a remark-
ably successful king.
University of Colorado at Boulder Peter Hunt

GENERAL

Visible Cities: Canton, Nagasaki, and Batavia and the Coming of the Americans. By
Leonard Bluss. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008. Pp. xi, 133.
$25.95.)

This brief book emerged from the Reischauer Lectures that the author delivered at
Harvard in 20052006. Leonard Bluss peers through Canton, Batavia, and
Nagasaki as three windows of opportunity where interaction and entanglement
of regional and global forces found their expression in late-eighteenth-century
maritime Asia (32). All three port cities were nodes in the Dutch East India Com-
panys (VOC) trade network in the China Sea Basin, yet they were quite distinct.
Canton, the so-called Southern Treasury of the Emperor, has the longest and
most continually prosperous history of the three. Chiefly managed by the Cohong,
or Chinese merchants deputized by the Qing court, Canton was relatively open to
competition among its multiple foreign factors. Batavia, the Queen of the Orient,
was the center of the Dutch colonial empire in Southeast Asia. Cosmopolitan and
multicultural, this VOC emporium was generally run by private Dutch and Chinese
entrepreneurs. Nagasaki, which gets by without a catchy moniker, was an exclusive
and highly regulated site of foreign trade in Tokugawa Japan, where only the Dutch
and the Chinese were permitted to conduct such trade. A government-owned
trading bank kept Nagasakior Dejima, to be preciseclose to the vest.
Seaborne connectivity is the dominant theme here as Bluss follows many
ripples in the global waters. For example, it was Japanese maritime prohibition
that allowed the VOC to expand its activities in Southeast Asia (at Portuguese
expense), which in turn helped the Zheng smuggling clan to emerge in coastal
Fujian. Likewise, the French invasion of Holland led to greater American shipping
opportunities. Of the Americans, however, more could be said. Readers drawn by
the last phrase in the books subtitle might have to look elsewhere.
In this elegantly sweeping book, the author offers many keen insights. Bluss
advocates a departure from the Sino-centric tribute model, and argues that the
718 THE HISTORIAN

Qing foreign policies cared more about controlling their own unruly subjects than
the foreigners as such (1112). He also reminds readers of the Americans hand in
the infamous Chinese opium trade, which is all too easily associated with just the
British. The author graciously credits many important secondary works, especially
European scholarship that could get overlooked by some American scholars.
Blusss more provocative points come toward the end of the book. The final
chapter closes with biographical portraits of three Western traders in Asia: Van
Braam, Isaac Titsingh, and Hendrik Doeff. This not only helps humanize the
history of trade, but also it allows Bluss more sympathetically to depict Dutch
traders as culturally attuned and soften their reputation as profit-driven syco-
phants (94). In the epilogue, Bluss states that a maritime perspective like his own
compels the reader to reconsider the late eighteenth century as a time of epochal
change. Whereas a mainland perspective suggests a last gasp of the traditional
Asian order and the arrival of a new modern order, Blusss thalassic history
shows something more haphazard and uncertain. A new maritime order would
have to await the mid-nineteenth century, when storied ports of yore like Canton,
Nagasaki, and Batavia gave way to more dynamic treaty ports like Shanghai,
Yokohama, and Hong Kong.
Vassar College Hiraku Shimoda

Leprosy in Premodern Medicine: A Malady of the Whole Body. By Luke Demaitre.


(Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. Pp. 323. $45.00.)

Today, leprosy is seeing a decline in countries with a previously high rate due to
better access to diagnosis and effective treatment as well as to improvement in
living conditions. However, it is instructive to reflect on similarities and differences
between past and present communities. This book focuses on medical and social
perspectives of leprosy from the first to the late eighteenth century, with a
concentration on 13001700. It considers how different people, from poets to
physicians, viewed leprosy. Even today, different concepts of a disease can have an
impact on the experience of leprosy in any one person. For example, an incorrect
diagnosis can (and did) stigmatize and isolate a person unnecessarily.
An introduction precedes eight chapters, which are followed by a conclusion.
Since it would be impossible to consider in the detail necessary all countries
affected by leprosy at this time, Luke Demaitre sensibly concentrates on the
Western Continent (France, Germany, and the Low Countries), with less detail on
Italy and Scandinavia. In chapter one, the author notes the sources used (aca-
demic and public documents); there is a useful study of twelve authors showing
BOOK REVIEWS 719

their relative concentration on definition, cause, signs, and cures of leprosy.


Chapter two (medical judgement) features pictorial and textual data on the
relationship between medicine, society, and disease; how leprosy was diagnosed;
the fear engendered in diagnosed people; the consequences of incorrect diagnoses;
and how the poor engineered diagnoses to gain charity. Chapter three looks at
the development of the many labels of leprosy; a clear discourse provides expla-
nations for the different terminology used, focusing on emotional responses,
terminological confusion, and rationalization. Chapter four (definitions and
explanations) extends the discussion and explores the diseases identity and its
impact on its sufferers. Chapter five (Une maladie contagieuse et hrditaire)
considers leprosys contagious and hereditary nature, while chapter six (causes,
categories, and correlations) looks at the environment, food/drink, repletion/
evacuation/menstruation, and exertion/rest/sex in particular. Leprosy is discussed
with reference to its phases/development and recognized types (elephantia,
leonine, tyria, and alopecia). Chapter seven deals with diagnostic methods,
showing that physicians considered leprosy to affect the whole body (skin, face,
extremities, flesh, heart, and liver), and chapter eight (treatment) displays the
clear view that leprosy was incurable, an incorrect enduring perception for
many today, although physicians recommended many preventive and therapeutic
remedies.
In summary, Demaitre provides a well-written, scholarly, and accessible book
that affords a holistic view of leprosy in premodern medicine as seen in historical
documents. He shows that physicians dealing with the leprous were dedicated to
helping their patients and also reducing the fear of leprosy in society. This book
will be an important resource particularly for medical historians and paleo-
pathologists but will be of interest to the medical profession. Finally, this reviewer
applauds the authors determination to refrain from using the derogatory term
leper in his book; this should be a message heeded by all, both academic and
public alike, so that people with leprosy today may avoid being stigmatized and
are treated with the respect they deserve.
Durham University Charlotte A. Roberts

One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear
War. By Michael Dobbs. (New York, N.Y.: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. Pp. xvi, 426.
$28.95.)

As a defining moment in the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis has inspired many
scholarly works, with the most recent revealing just how close the world came to
720 THE HISTORIAN

nuclear war. Perhaps none, however, have driven that point home as well as
Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbss One Minute to Midnight, which at
times reads like a thriller. That said, this is a serious, well-researched book,
offering new information for scholars while remaining highly accessible to stu-
dents and the general public.
Dobbs provides a minute-by-minute account of those thirteen tense days in
October 1962 (he is less concerned with the Soviet decision to place nuclear
missiles in Cuba, though he mentions a desire to change the nuclear strategic
balance as well as prevent an American invasion of Cuba), beginning with the
American discovery of the missiles and concluding with Nikita Khrushchevs
agreement to remove them in return for an American pledge not to invade Cuba.
The focus is on Washington and Moscow, though the soldiers on the frontlines of
the crisis also receive significant attention.
Most of the book covers what Dobbs considers to be the two most dangerous
days, when, he says, the world came within one minute to midnight on the
Doomsday Clock. The first was 22 October, when President Kennedy, though
initially inclined toward a more bellicose response, instead chose the quarantine
option as a way to avert nuclear war and diffuse the crisis. Also that day, following
Kennedys blockade announcement, rather than employing the tactical nuclear
weapons in Cuba, Khrushchev ordered the Cuba-bound ships loaded with addi-
tional nuclear materials to reverse course. Thus, Dobbs points out, the so-called
eyeball to eyeball confrontation of two days later between American and Soviet
ships never happened. The second was 27 October, or Black Saturday, during
which any number of miscalculations could have resulted in nuclear war. The
United States was finalizing plans to take out the Cuban missiles by air strike, with
a full invasion of the island to begin a week later. The Cubans and Soviets were
preparing for such an attack. Here Dobbs reveals new information on a Soviet
plan to destroy the American naval base at Guantanamo with tactical nuclear
weapons. Against this backdrop, Kennedy had to formulate a response to Khrush-
chevs second message offering to remove the Cuban missiles if the United States
removed theirs from Turkey. While doing so, several incidents outside the control
of either Kennedy or Khrushchev occurred: Cuban antiaircraft weapons fired
(unsuccessfully) upon low-flying U.S. reconnaissance planes; the Soviets shot
down an American U-2 plane over Cuban airspace; and another U-2 conducting
atmospheric radiation tests at the North Pole accidently flew over Soviet airspace.
Any one of these incidents beyond the control of either Kennedy or Khrushchev,
Dobbs emphasizes, could have resulted in nuclear escalation. Luckily they did not.
Moreover, Dobbs concludes the world was fortunate to have Kennedy and
BOOK REVIEWS 721

Khrushchev at the helm, as right from the start both patiently sought ways to
diffuse the crisis and avert nuclear war.
Campbell University Jaclyn Stanke

Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God. By Amos Nur, with
Dawn Burgess. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2008. Pp. viii, 309.
$26.95.)

The author revisits the scholarly debate pitting the numerous archaeologists and
historians who believe that, ca. 1200 BCE, many Bronze Age cities and kingdoms
were destroyed by war and human conquest, against those who maintain that
there is a substantial body of scientific and written evidence supporting an alter-
native view that devastating earthquakes most likely caused the destruction of
many of those sites. Does this study, which chronicles the history and archaeology
of ancient and modern earthquakes in both the Near East and the eastern
Mediterranean region, warrant the attention of scholars and interested laymen?
Absolutely!
The reader benefits from Amos Nurs considerable expertise in geology and
geophysics and his personal experiences at archaeological sites, such as Qumran
and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. A specialist in archaeo-
seismology (earthquake archaeology), he looks for archaeological signs of past
earthquakes and correlates the suspected earthquake damage to the known
seismic risks of each site (6). Clearly, he has a loftier goal than winning an
academic debate. Evidence he finds can help communities be better prepared to
survive a future quake.
Nur demonstrates an equally impressive knowledge of the historical and lit-
erary and/or primary sources that document the incidences of earthquakes that
have struck such important archaeological sites as the Ramesseum and Alexan-
dria in Egypt; Troy in northwestern Anatolia; Jericho, Megiddo (Armageddon),
and Jerusalem in Palestine/Israel; Rome; and Mycenae and Thebes in Greece
as well as many other important sites. He presents compelling evidence that,
throughout history, there have been earthquakes in the Near East, Greece,
and the Aegean region, as well as in the Mediterranean and in other world
regions.
In fact, one of the most significant features of this book is the interaction that
Nur has initiated with archaeologists in his effort to teach them how to find the
evidence that an ancient city was damaged or destroyed by an earthquake. Nur
provides examples of numerous expeditions where archaeologists were either
722 THE HISTORIAN

burrowing through upper levels in their haste to get to more significant artifacts
or simply did not recognize the telltale signs that an earthquake leaves in the earth.
He provides specific details that should be helpful in creating better techniques to
enable more accurate assessments of whether or not an ancient site was damaged
or destroyed by an earthquake.
Throughout the book, Nur continues to challenge those who dismiss even the
possibility that some ancient sites were destroyed by earthquakes instead of by the
omnipresent sea peoples or other invaders. Nurs definition of an apocalypse
does not rely upon Biblical miracles or fantasies, although several of his sources
are Biblical in origin. In this well-written and scholarly text, Nur guides the reader
to the compelling conclusion, based on ample scientific evidence, that many
Bronze Age cities did experience considerable earthquake activity. It was not
Gods fault!
West Virginia University, Morgantown William S. Arnett

Einsteins Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius. By Hans C. Ohanian. (New York,
N.Y.: W. W. Norton & Company, 2008. Pp. xix, 394. $24.95.)

Albert Einstein once admitted that We all must from time to time make a sacrifice
at the altar of stupidity, for the entertainment of the deity and mankind (276). To
track such failures, physicist Hans C. Ohanian tries his hand at history by
assembling an entertaining collection of Einsteins mistakes, mainly in science but
also in life, organized biographically.
The author argues that Einsteins early mistakes were fruitful, that his genius
consisted of being able to distill great discoveries from erroneous ideas. Contrary
to traditional accounts, Ohanian portrays Einstein as a stubborn mystic who
danced blindly around his silly mistakes, cherry-picking experimental data,
leading sometimes to inspired success but often to mediocre results and delusional
failure. The historical material mainly echoes lively passages from popular biog-
raphies of Einsteinhence lacking provenance and dates or marred by apocryphal
quotations and false anecdotes. Most primary sources used consist only of Ein-
steins published works in his Collected Papers and letters, but at least Ohanian
does provide accurate translations from the German originals.
Ohanian hardly admits that some of Einsteins big mistakes continue to be
debated. For example, he disparages the conventional procedure for synchroniz-
ing clocks by which Einstein posited the constancy of the one-way speed of light
as an assumption. Ohanian claims that it is an experimental fact, verifiable by the
transport of clocks. But since the rate of clocks is affected by their speed, how does
BOOK REVIEWS 723

one even measure their speed? This problem has been debated for decades, yet
Ohanian just ignores the literature. By contrast, a masterful history is available:
Max Jammers Concepts of Simultaneity [2006].
Such disagreements with Einstein lead Ohanian to revive Hendrik Lorentzs old
theory (that a privileged reference frame exists in the universe and that there are
dynamical causes for the relativistic effects of length contraction and time dila-
tion). He claims that Lorentz and Einstein were both right. But not everyone will
agree. Nevertheless, Ohanian discusses many topics with admirable clarity. He
provides crystal clear explanations of why Einsteins famous Principle of Equiva-
lence is, strictly speaking, false. He lucidly critiques Einsteins inconclusive
attempts to prove E = mc2 by comparison to Max Laues proof of 1911. The book
also includes discussions of quantum physics and of Einsteins personal and
professional relations.
Over the decades, Einstein became increasingly isolated from other physicists,
most of whom dismissed his aims as misguided. Ohanian describes the older
Einsteins efforts as a tragic and futile obsession to publish half-baked theoretical
trash, deaf to peer criticism. Still, impressed by Einsteins overall success, Ohanian
celebrates him as a sleepwalker, la Koestler, a genius who benefited from a
gift that cannot be learned (335). But this emphasis on a supposedly mystical
intuition fails to satisfy as a fair explanation of Einsteins creativity.
This book will certainly entertain general readers, but it has no mathematical
explanations and lacks the historical solidity to satisfy specialists. Historians can
yet appreciate it as a unique collection of Einsteins failures, and a welcome step
away from physicists tired hagiographies of their favorite role model.
University of Texas at Austin Alberto A. Martnez

The Interweaving of Rituals: Funerals in the Cultural Exchange Between China and
Europe. By Nicolas Standaert. (Seattle, Wash.: University of Washingon Press,
2008. Pp. viii, 336. $65.00.)

Death may seem a strange place to seek evidence of cultural exchange, but in this
elegant study, funerary rituals clearly manifest the early interaction between
European Jesuits and Chinese elites. Weaving together sources as varied as Latin
liturgies, Confucian classics, and the edicts of Manchu emperors, the author deftly
traces the emergence of a new Chinese Christian identity in the seventeenth
century. Along the way, Nicolas Standaert proposes an important new framework
for analyzing cultural exchanges in situations where an entity other than the West
plays a dominant role.
724 THE HISTORIAN

The author begins with an analysis of the texts and customs that shaped the
conduct of funerals in early modern China and Europe. For each side, funerals
were highly significant, but in different ways. For Chinese, funerals were family-
orchestrated events that manifested the key Confucian virtue of filial piety. For
Europeans, funerals were clergy-centered performances essential to the fate of the
deceaseds soul. Jesuits found Chinese funerals too effusive, with huge public
processions, much kowtowing, and unnecessary expenditures on coffins and burnt
offerings. Chinese, on the other hand, saw the austere, church-focused funerals
demanded by the Jesuits as stingy, emotionally repressed, and downright unfilial.
By running a strictly Christian funeral, Chinese ran the risk of ostracizing them-
selves from their larger society: a high price to pay for conversion.
At this moment in East-West interaction, Standaert argues, Chinese were in a
dominant position vis--vis the European Jesuits (7). All discourse was con-
ducted in the Chinese language, and Jesuits had to accommodate themselves to
Chinese templates if they wanted to achieve their goal of building the Church. By
the late seventeenth century, a recognizable Chinese Christian funeral had
emerged, with much of the accommodation done by the European side. The role
of the priest declined in favor of lay officiators conducting family-based rituals.
Believers and nonbelievers alike were free to kowtow before the funerary tablet of
the deceased, as long as believers acknowledged that the soul of the deceased did
not reside within the plaque itself. Jesuits even saw an advantage to staging
elaborate funeral processions along public roads, since it allowed a large audience
to see that Westerners could be as emotionally generous as the filial Chinese.
In his conclusion (The Metaphor of Textile Weaving), Standaert describes
the framework he created to analyze this cross-cultural interaction. Called inter-
action and communication, this approach incorporates elements of previous
frameworks yet tries to avoid their pitfalls. According to the author, the inter-
action and communication framework does not assume the dominance of one
actor over the other, emphasizes understanding over miscomprehension, and
holds that positive, productive identities are created as the result of cultural
interaction (212214). The metaphor of textile weaving illustrates this approach.
In the process of making cloth, as in the process of cultural exchange, some
threads are reinforced, others are removed, while others are replaced, mixed, or
retained, each according to a certain logic.
For Standaert, it is important to see the product of these interweavings as
whole cloth, coherent and useful. While he acknowledges tensions in the
production, the narrative he presents emphasizes success: converts have worked
out ways to be both Christian and Chinese. The study ends before the final climax
BOOK REVIEWS 725

of the Rites Controversy and the Jesuits loss of imperial favor. One wonders what
would happen to this story (and to the analytical framework itself) if the narrative
were extended just a few more decades into a time where tensions prevailed.
Nevertheless, The Interweaving of Rituals is a welcome corrective to a scholarship
that at times has emphasized incommensurability, dominance, and the impossi-
bility of understanding.
Vanderbilt University Ruth Rogaski