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

Book Reviews

of the Texas historian-not even the duty of accurately recording
the Ante-Petroleum Past-is greater than the obligation of ex-
plaining present-day Texas to itself. Of course it is true that the
present cannot be clearly understood without the earlier record,
but too little of the interpretation outlined in these studies takes
into account anything in twentieth-century Texas. Who is spark-
ing the gap between the administration of Shivers and that of
Pease?
Another question. In general studies among the social sciences
and humanities the label "history of ideas" has too often been a
vain mouthful designed to excuse superficial generalizing. In
avoiding this kind of superficiality, has research on Texas erred
in the other direction? On the fingers of two hands can be counted
the studies devoted to dominant ideas, philosophies, theories,
symbols, and "movements" in the less organized sense which have
loomed behind and over the development of modern Texas. Are
the historians determined to leave all such interpretation to other
social scientists, and the Sunday supplements? It is hard to believe
that Barker or Ramsdell, arriving on the Texas scene after World
War II, would submit to any such shackles.
Now to add a mild stricture, and a hope. The stricture is
simple. "Texas History" in these books is limited by academic
custom (and perhaps by a desire to define a manageable project)
to research completed in departments of history. A good many
"Texas" historical theses and dissertations have been written, of
course, in other departments. Perhaps some later editions or
additions will take account of that fact. The editors make it clear
that they could not have completed their editorial task without
the help of librarians. Users of the books will expand the debt
by seeking more help from the same indispensable source, asking
the librarians to see to it that these check lists are kept up to date.
HARRY H. RANSOM
The University of Texas
Stonewall Jackson and the Old Stonewall Brigade. By John Esten
Cooke. Edited by Richard Barksdale Harwell. Charlottesville
(University of Virginia Press for the Tracy W. McGregor
Library), 1954. Pp. 76. One illustration. Index. $3.50.
John Esten Cooke opens his short monograph with the words

537

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 August 29, 2015.