The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925

Book Reviews

people. Professor J. Frank Dobie has rendered no small service
in collecting and editing this material. W. P. WEBB.
History of the American Frontier-1763-1893. By Frederick L.
Paxson, Ph. D., Professor of History in the University of
Wisconsin. (Houghton-Mifflin Company, Boston, 1924.
Pp. xvii, 598.)
In the thirty-odd years that have elapsed since Turner founded
what may be termed the school of western history by the publication
of his famous essay on the significance of the frontier in Amer-
ican history, special investigators have been busy in archives and
among manuscripts working out the details of the story. It has
remained for Professor Paxson to make the first attempt at a com-
plete history of the frontier. "The time is ripe," says the author
in his preface, "for this synthesis, in which an attempt is made to
show the proportions of the whole story."
The heavy volume consisting of fifty-nine chapters will doubt-
less attract more attention and more comment among historians
than any other single volume of the year. The very eagerness
with which it has been anticipated will guarantee it much com-
mendation and a considerable amount of criticism. The assiduity
with which students of Western history have plied their trade will
perhaps subject it to more expert criticism than most books re-
ceive. Since Professor Paxson has undertaken to write a general
work, covering the whole field, he will be fired upon by the special
investigators all along the line.
In the first place, it is quite evident that this book is intended
as a college text-book on the American frontier. As such it will
meet a real need and a ready acceptance. The wide popular de-
mand for a knowledge of the American frontier, for a knowledge
of origins and beginnings of American life, not on the Atlantic
coast alone but in every section, makes the demand for this book
immediate. As a business adventure it will doubtless prove a
success.
When one undertakes an analysis of the genuine and actual
value of a pioneer work, such as Professor Paxson's undoubtedly
is, one is hampered by the very magnitude of the task. It has
been freely predicted by historians that the last effort at a com-
prehensive history of America by a single man has been made.

247

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/. Accessed August 30, 2014.