The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

imagination to plan, the knowledge and experience to implement
his plans, and the Scotch tenacity to see them through in spite of
occasional opposition from city administrations and commercial
interests. Generously illustrated with delightful pencil drawings
by the author, the book is attractively printed and bound. It will
be a pleasant addition to the library of one who is interested in
park planning, in the city of San Francisco, or more simply in the
value that is achieved in a community by combining natural
beauty with service.
MILDRED M. BIESELE
Salt Lake City
When Destiny Called. By Ottomar Hamele. San Antonio, Texas
(The Naylor Company), 1948. Pp. 236. $3.00.
William Cullen Bryant, who could not resist a classical allu-
sion even in an editorial, writing in the New York Evening Post,
June 25, 1847, compared the exploits of Colonel Xenophon and
Colonel Doniphan. Furthermore, he ventured the hope that
Doniphan would turn historian as had the Greek and immor-
talize the anabasis in homespun (to borrow De Voto's more recent
phrase) in the manner which made Xenophon's account a charm-
ing and perfect narrative. The American commander showed no
flair for literature though a number of the soldiers who partici-
pated in the march-notably John T. Hughes, A. B.-wrote chron-
icles of the campaign of the First Missouri Mounted Volunteers.
But this review has to do neither with Bryant nor Hughes but
with Ottomar Hamele's novel in which he attempts to revitalize
the story of Doniphan's expedition into Mexico by combining
fact and fiction. History, let it be said, is often well over on the in-
credible side; the exploits of the Missourians in 1846-1847 exceed
logical expectations. On the other hand, the writer of fiction must
cling to the credible; he can not afford the luxury of improbabil-
ity. Unhappily Hamele has chosen to portray the Doniphan story
in novel form. In all charity, the writing of fiction is not his forte,
for, though he can delineate an episode with acceptable skill, he
seems to lack the ability to construct a plausible plot. Characters
pulled puppet-like upon the stage of action perform there with
the spontaneity of automata.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/. Accessed April 17, 2014.