The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939

Book Reviews

taking effort and successful research in local, district, and state
records and in histories, laws, newspapers, and organization
minutes. The sixteenth chapter, which constitutes the second part
of the book and which comprises fifty-four pages, is made up of
a number of short accounts by pioneers of the county and is called
"Tales the Old Timers Told."
The first fifteen chapters deal with the political organization of
the county, its settlement, its development in agriculture, industry,
and transportation, its educational history and its newspapers, its
legal, judicial, financial, medical, and military history, and its
fraternal, civic, and women's organizations. They portray the
growth of the county and give an extensive catalogue of Hale
County surnames in all phases of the county's development. To
be sure, these lists of names slow up the reading, but they are
worth while to record.
On the whole, careful proofreading was done. The illustrations
are well chosen, but a few more would have added to the value
of the book.
R. L. BIESELE.
The University of Texas.
Government in Rural America. By Lane W. Lancaster. (New
York: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1937. Pp. xi, 416.)
Professor Lancaster has not prepared a textbook on rural local
government in America, but rather a treatise dealing with rural
influences upon government. Throughout his study attention is
focused upon the economic, psychological, and social factors char-
acteristic of our agricultural regions and much effort is taken to
portray the influence of these factors upon the character of local
political institutions. In addition, he never neglects to demonstrate
the influence of the local unit upon the remaining levels of gov-
ernment, pointing out how "traditional rural modes of thought"
have hindered and retarded scientific political development.
Our agricultural areas have resisted changes of all kinds. Local
government remains "the dark continent of American politics"
primarily because rural America thrives upon prejudice, cherishes
"the amateur tradition," and worships "the homespun virtue of
'common sense.'" Such is the view of the author. He is quick

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/. Accessed May 29, 2015.