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02.08.20 Dunning, William Archibald, (15 Essays by Dunning School Notables), Studies in Southern History and Politics, Inscribed to William Archibald Dunning . . . , Published in 1914

Notes Concerning Authors

This collection of 15 essays was written by fifteen historians who had been greatly influenced by the great history-is-about-telling-the-truth William Archibald Dunning, Ph.D., LL.D. Lieber Professor of History and Political Philosophy in Columbia University, New York City.  In the Preface, James W. Garner explained how Dunning, through his influence,  had transformed the study of and writing about history from one too-often influenced by historian’s bias to one focused on digging out the truth and presenting a balanced account of what really happened, how and why.  Those influenced by Dunning were said to be of the Dunning School.  Sadly, today, we see such focus on the truthful telling of history, especially political history, to be rather a mess, especially within the academic community.

The authors of the 15 essays are: Walter L. Fleming of LSU, Ulrich B. Phillips of U of Mich., Charles William Ramsdell of U. of Texas, Milledge L. Bonham, Jr. of LSU, Sidney D. Brummer, J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton of U of NC, C. Mildred Thompson of Vassar, Edward C. Woolley of U of Wisc., William Watson Davis of U. of Kansas, W. Roy Smith of Bryn Mawr College, William K. Boyd of Trinity College, NC, Holland Thompson of College of NY City, Charles Edward Merriam of U. of Chicago, David Y. Thomas of U.  of Arkansas, James R. Garner of U. of Illinois.

Our Review

Space does not permit a review of all 15 essays, which cover 385 pages in total.  So this reviewer will only mention a few.   Most helpful to me was Deportation and Colonization,, An Attempted Solution of the Race Problem, by Walter L. Fleming.  Covering 27 pages, it is outstanding.  The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun, by Charles Edward Merriam,  covered in 19 pages, is quite relevant today and of great interest to students of Southern political thought.  Southern Politics Since the Civil War by James W. Garner, a 20-page study, is excellent.  

The remaining topics can be condensed as follows: The Literary Movement for Secession; The Frontier and Secession; The French Consuls in the Confederate States; The Judicial Interpretation of the Confederate Constitution; Southern Legislation in Respect to Freedmen, 1865-1866; Carpet-Baggers in the United States Senate; Grant’s Southern Policy; The Federal Enforcement Acts; Negro Suffrage in the South; Some Phases of Educational History in the South Since 1865; The New South, Economic and Social; Southern Political Theories.

Also, the index is very helpful to the student.

Availability of this Book

A reprint of this 1914 book is available and is recommended.  It was originally published by Columbia University Press, NY.