The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913

Reviews and Notices

A School History of Texas. By Eugene C. Barker, Charles S.
Potts, and Charles W. Ramsdell. (Chicago: Row, Peterson
and Company. 1912. Pp. xvi, 384.)
The characteristic feature of this book is the success with which
it conforms to the newer ideas in history writing. The authors
have performed their best service to the State of Texas in sup-
plying to the school children a text-book in history that recog-
nizes throughout the true nature of historical material. 'The
book under review exhibits on every page the inner life of the
people of Texas in the process of unfolding. It keeps vividly
before the mind the whole life of the people as a growing organ-
ism, and at the end leaves the reader in possession of a delight-
ful fund of information possessing organic relation. This fea-
ture of the book impresses itself upon the reader with the first
chapter, and is especially emphasized in the treatment of the
periods of republic and statehood. The old method of using
gubernatorial administrations as the basis of organization has been
discarded, and in its place the authors have followed, as an or-
ganizing principle, the laws of growth as expressed in the social
and institutional life of the people. To the reviewer, it seems
that this has been done with unusual success, considering that
the book is intended for children. The authors state in the
preface that they have aimed "to bring it within the grasp of
fifth and sixth grade pupils." They have not missed their aim;
and yet the reader is nowhere allowed to wander away from the
proper viewpoint of the whole subject. So far as the reviewer
knows, in all the historical literature of the grammar grades,
there is no text-book that so skillfully impresses the correct phi-
losophy of history and at the same time keeps so well within the
capacity of those for whom it is written.
Another feature of the book which appeals to all lovers of
truth is its spirit of fairness and accuracy. This is illustrated
in the discussion of the general causes of the revolution. On
page 83, it is stated that "the causes of the revolution spread
through the whole ten years, between 1825 and 1835, but at the
very bottom of them all was the fact that the Mexicans and the
colonists never really got acquainted and learned to trust each
other. .. . The colonists felt a sort of contempt for the

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed September 19, 2014.