RUDOLPH L. BIESELE, Editor
Lone-Star Land: Twentieth Century Texas in Perspective. By
Frank Goodwyn. New York (Alfred A. Knopf), 1955. Pp.
xiii+352. Photographic illustrations, maps, and index. $5.00.
This book would have made more sense if it had been called
Frank Goodwyn's Texas. For that title anybody can find room and
reasons. Frank Goodwyn is more of a Texan than most Texans,
professional or amateur, and he writes better than most Texas
writers. So any number of people-including what he calls "out-
landers"-will be glad to make a conducted tour through the
impressions, memories, opinions, prejudices, and miscellaneous
gleanings from much living, travel, reading, talk, and specula-
tion in, around, and about Texas. Behind this volume lies up-
growing in Texas-birth and boyhood, formal education, begin-
nings of a teaching career, and three good books, Life on the
King Ranch, The Magic of Limping John, and The Devil in
Texas. With this equipment, with half a decade of university work
outside Texas to improve perspective, and a season of research on
the ground for this job, Frank Goodwyn's Texas ought to be
enough for any reader. The designer of the book's case must have
known what was to be inside, because he got the cover's silhouette
map of Texas branded with a nondescript piece of headwear
and FG. FG means, to labor the point a little, Frank Goodwyn.
As for any "perspective" the book reveals, that carries the same
deep, clear brand.
The preface to this volume says-and promises-mouthfuls like
"Exclusivistic specialization hence becomes abortive, and the best
of specialists are those who know all fields but choose to empha-
size a simple aspect of human experience," and "Selectivity is
necessarily high, and details are eschewed except those which de-
lineate the essential peculiarities of the chosen area." Such writ-
ing (and further promises that the book "embraces the geology,
geography, anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, econom-
ics, and culture of Texas") will either dazzle the ordinary reader
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/. Accessed April 1, 2015.