The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958

Book Reviews

carried on by King's son-in-law and by his grandson, the present
ranch manager, Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. Its history spans more than
a century of achievement.
In its earlier days, the ranch pioneered in building fences and
windmills and in sending vast herds of Longhorn cattle on the
hoof to distant markets. Later it brought in modern breeds and,
in time, developed the first new breed of beef cattle in North
America, the Santa Gertrudis. Cattle of this breed are now being
raised on many ranges and in several foreign countries.
Achievements of the ranch, as Lea points out, also include the
developing of fine Quarter Horses, the importing and improving
of special grasses, and the adapting of machines to uproot brush
that crowds out grass. In addition, the ranch has provided game
preserves not only for Texas animals and birds but for those
brought in experimentally from other lands.
Discovery of oil on the ranch has added to its resources without
lessening its search for better methods in stock' raising. The ranch
remains one of the most progressive in the country, and it has been
generous in sharing the outcome of its experiments with others
who have similar problems.
Tom Lea tells for the first time the whole story of this great
South Texas ranch. He tells it directly and simply, without obtru-
sive flourishes. Fortunately, the ranch owners provided source
material and still let him have a free hand. Rarely is the reader
aware that this is a subsidized work. That drawback is more than
offset by the opening of a storehouse of hitherto locked-in history.
WAYNE GARD
The Far Western Frontier, 183o-186o0. By Ray Allen Billington.
New York (Harper and Brothers), 1956. Pp. 324. Illustra-
tions. $5.00.
This most recent addition to the "New American Nation
Series" is a saga of conquest and conquistadors, written by one
who is too well trained as a historian to tell a good story, but too
captivated by the heroic nature of the story to write incisive
history. As a result, Billington has written a better than average
account of the conquest and settlement of territories from Texas
to Oregon and a good synthesis of recent scholarship in Western

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/. Accessed July 11, 2014.