Books: Little Aleck

ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS (337 pp.)—Rudolph von Abele—Knopf ($4).

His weight, full grown, was 96 lbs. A confirmed invalid, he suffered from coughs, sweats, neuralgia, nausea, diarrhea. He dosed himself with quinine, nitric acid, extract of liverwort. He walked about with a cane, muffled himself in scarves and flannels, later (after an iron gate fell on him) rode in a wheelchair. He never married. Until he died at 71, he had a gnome-like, boyish face—beardless, wrinkled, blotched.

The people of the North, from Abraham Lincoln down, knew him as Little Aleck, devoted champion of states' rights and the constitutional liberties of all men—except Negroes....

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