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

Book Reviews

ranching industry." What can be lamented are the errors and
inconsistencies in spelling, the inaccuracies in dates, and the
piecemeal treatment given the histories of men and ranches.
A worthy service has been rendered by the author in that he
has collected and reproduced on forty-four pages photographs of
persons, horses, ranch houses, and range scenes; these along with
five maps which show the location and extent of dozens of ranch
properties, presumably as they were in the late 1940's, make the
study a valuable addition to the collector of Texana and to the
mid-century reader who might have wondered just where the
large ranch properties are and how they got that way.
Texas Technological College
The Big Bend Country of Texas. By Virginia Madison. Albu-
querque (University of New Mexico Press), 1955- Pp.
xv+263. Illustrations, bibliography, and index. $4.50.
Background, experience, and training uniquely equip Mrs.
Virginia Madison to write of the Big Bend country. A perceptive
native daughter of arid West Texas, she has the feel of the land
and an understanding of the people who dared to challenge an
environment that was at the least uncooperative and at the most
hostile to the advance of civilized occupation. As a native daughter
transplanted to the different world of metropolitan New York,
she can be forgiven the possessiveness she feels for "Mrs. Madison's
Texas." As a matter of fact, the fantastic Big Bend country char-
acteristically inspires this nostalgic reaction, and readers of Mrs.
Madison's book who have also become champions of the region
will feel no resentment, but rather they will thank her for captur-
ing its spirit and expressing, at least partially, their own attach-
ment to this land of startling contrasts and baffling contradictions.
The organization of The Big Bend Country combines a basic
chronological narrative with a topical approach to various specific
developments in the history of the region. After a brief, general
appraisal of the Big Bend and its residents, Mrs. Madison con-
siders the aboriginal life of the region, the Spanish and Mexican
influences, legends of the viejos, lawlessness, and the Anglo-Amer-
ican occupation. The treatment becomes increasingly more topical


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 29, 2016.

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