"Hannis Taylor (1851-1922) was a Mobile lawyer, author of books on constitutional history and other legal treatises, U.S. Minister to Madrid during the second Cleveland administration, a spread-eagle imperialist, candidate for Congress, a Republican convert and friend of Theodore Roosevelt, and finally a Washington attorney. . . . Taylor was a model 'New South' optimist and exemplar of Southern progressivism’s preoccupation with race and governmental efficiency. . . . Meticulous . . . the organization of the book is sensible, the prose simple and clear."
American Historical Review
"McWilliams presents Taylor as an example of how personal aspirations and commitment to national ideals could keep southerners from learning from their experiences with tragedy by developing insights into the social and economic paradoxes of the New South and nationalism. . . . A sound, well-researched biography that effectively places Taylor in his times."
Journal of American History