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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Natural History," and "Aunt Cordie's Ax and Other Motifs in
Oil"-named in the order of their appearance. They are twice-
told now and they and many other selections deserve frequent
reprintings. I nominate "The Deathless Pacing White Stallion"
for first prize. Of course each reader will choose his own favorites,
and here is "God's plenty" to choose from.
The volume contains six splendid full-page illustrations drawn
by Jose Cisneros of El Paso, an appendix telling where the selec-
tions first appeared, and a comprehensive index. It is a distin-
guished book in all respects.
The University of Texas
A Dozen Captains of Industry. By Walter Wilson Jennings. New
York (Vantage Press, Inc.), 1954. Pp. viii+229.
The author of A Dozen Captains of Industry, a professor of
economic history at the University of Kentucky, seems bent on
turning out a series of vignettes of no particular perception about
American businessmen. In 1953 he produced 20o Giants of Amer-
ican Business, and he has A Dozen Masters of American Exchange
somewhere in the production mill. The two products examined
thus far read rather like a good series of classnotes, somewhat pol-
ished for publication.
It is not that perception and even profundity cannot be attained
in running over a man's life and his business ethics in less than
twenty pages, but Professor Jennings has here tried to consider
his dozen captains without ever really getting "inside" his men.
For one thing, he tries to write somewhat popularly, as did, say,
Stewart Holbrook in The Age of the Moguls; but whereas Hol-
brook can make a story get up on its legs and move, Professor
Jennings lacks the pace of a professional.
In the second place he is highly appreciative of his subjects,
which can be refreshing when so many economics professors seem
to think that to praise a businessman is to invite damnation; but
his appreciation unfortunately is not based on the best of sources.
Usually he has drawn his vignettes from one or two or three
sources, none of which is noted for its attempted objectivity.
And finally, the books lack a certain sense of proportion coupled


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 4, 2016.

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