The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954

Book Reviews

soldier the credit that Ernie Pyle helped to give the G.I. of World
War II. Bell Irvin Wiley has done a minimum of editing on the
work.
H. M. HENDERSON
Bartolome de las Casas, Historian. By Lewis Hanke. Gainesville
(University of Florida Press), 1952. Pp. xiii+125. $3.75.
With the passage of time Bartolome de las Casas bids fair to
become the best-known, if also the most controversial, figure of
that fabulous half century when the Old World burst its bonds
forever and overflowed into the New. The problems resulting
from the unique impact and clash of two utterly alien cultures-
that of Christian Western Europe and that of pagan Indian
America-increasingly attract the attention of historians, philos-
ophers, anthropologists, sociologists, and all others interested in
the whole field of human relations.
We count ourselves lucky to have a Lewis Hanke to rank
with or above the distinguished European and Latin-American
scholars who have probed, ever more deeply, into the life, pur-
pose, achievements, and philosophy of this great Dominican friar.
Dr. Hanke's sympathetic and scholarly studies regarding Bartol-
omb de las Casas' long struggle to secure justice for the Indians
who had come under Spanish rule are well known. In this little
book, the author turns to a very different subject-that of Las
Casas as a historian. Everyone familiar with this early period of
American history knows that Las Casas wrote a history. Few have
actually read it. Perhaps more will do so now that Dr. Agustin
Millares Carlo has brought out a new edition, the first to be based
on the original Las Casas manuscript which has only recently
been rediscovered. It was the publication of this work in Mexico
which inspired this study by Dr. Hanke, and he has dedicated it
to Dr. Millares Carlo.
The book has two main parts. After a brief description of Las
Casas' life and personality, Dr. Hanke traces the story of the writ-
ing of Las Casas' history and the fate of his manuscript after his
death. In the last half of the book the author makes an earnest
attempt to evaluate Las Casas as a historian. This effort is all the
more interesting because it is inconclusive.

255

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/. Accessed August 20, 2014.