The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

The above seems to be true except for one major exception,
that is, the essay on "The Western World Frontier." It appears
that the author here accepts the thesis that the frontier has had
great effect on both the frontiersman and the region from whence
the frontiersman came. He reserves to himself the privilege, how-
ever, of determining how great the influence actually was. This
eminent historian not only accepts the theory of the frontier influ-
ence in American history but he is ready to apply it to all fron-
tiers. Instead of the significance of the frontier in American his-
tory, as Turner wrote it, he would make it The Significance of the
Frontier in World History. Thus he would extend the ideas ad-
vanced by Turner to include all the wide world.
Southwest Texas State Teachers College
The Contriving Brain and the Skillful Hand in the United
States: Something about History and Philosophy of History.
By James C. Malin. Lawrence, Kansas (James C. Malin,
1541 University Drive), 1955. $3.50.
The later historical work of James C. Malin has dealt with the
North American grassland, studied from the most comprehensive
standpoint, as one among several of American regions. It has
taken seven volumes for Malin to report his historical findings
thus far. These volumes have appeared in an orderly sequence as
his thinking in the premises has unfolded. In 1944 he published
Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas: A Study in Adapta-
tion to Subhumid Geographical Environment. This book was de-
voted to a four-county area in Kansas and exemplifies in telling
fashion his application of the ecological approach to the facts of
time and place in history. Essays on Historiography, issued in
1946, contains a notable piece on Nathaniel S. Shaler, who during
the 188o's and 189o's produced ideas of his own on the frontier
and on the grasslands. This essay deserves a careful reading by all
historians concerned with the region of the plains, high or low.
In 1947 Malin brought out The Grassland of North America:
Prolegomena to its History. This work of 335 pages treats of the
relations of the several sciences to the grasslands considered as a
region, with grassland formation and grassland equilibria as the


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 28, 2015.