Books: Justice for a Rebel

JEFFERSON DAVIS by Hudson Strode. 556 pages. Harcourt, Brace & World. $7.50.

With perverse sentimentality, posterity often remembers history's losers more fondly than the luckier or more competent heroes who beat them. But nothing like this Joan of Arc or Mary Queen of Scots effect has occurred in the case of Jefferson Davis. The public memory retains his name, but his deeds and character are dimmer than Hannibal's. Perhaps it is because Davis refused to let himself be forgiven, and went on proclaiming the Tightness of the South's cause until his death in 1889. Or it may be that the popular taste...

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