JOHN C. CALHOUN by John L.--Ed. Thomas

JOHN C. CALHOUN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The fact that Calhoun's transcendent cause--the preservation of the Union with slavery-ended in ruin has tended to obscure his record as a brilliant parliamentarian, skilled legislative draftsman, painstaking diplomatist, and bureaucratic innovator of considerable talent,"" points out editor Thomas in his introductory essay to this volume in the American Profiles series. The present emphasis is on the second part of Calhoun's career, as ""original architect of the Solid, South"" (Richard N. Current), as proponent of the concurrent majority and nullification. From Margaret L. Colt comes a consideration of his position toward slavery, personal and political, from Louis Hartz his relation to the Constitution; William W. Freehling takes up his attitude toward spoilsmen and interests, Peter Drucker his pluralism as a basic principle of free government, Ralph Lerner explores that ""rarity in American political thought--a work that explicitly declares itself a theoretical study in politics,"" Disquisition on Government. Gerald Capers reconsiders Calhoun's transition from nationalism to nullification; Charles M. Wiltse offers an interpretation. Contemporaries-R. M. T. Hunter (?) and Jefferson Davis comment on the man, as does William Peterfield Trent. This maintains the sturdy level of achievement of the preceding volumes in the series. Bibliographical essay.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1968
Publisher: Hill & Wang