The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967

Book Reviews

and the Healing Arts"), overlapping in time-interval and repe-
titious minutiae rather than developing the story in strict chron-
ological sequence. Of course, the present method is not without
advantages and no doubt other approaches were considered. Pre-
sumably the traditional story form is considered "too square."
Anyway, it seems to me little coherence is gained and some his-
torical orderliness and logical character-development is lost in
the present approach. In places there is evident the mania for
nugatory chaff which characterizes old German encyclopedists
and modern biographers. But truly, all in all, everything consid-
ered, this book provides good reading. I strongly recommend it
for a spring evening when nothing else in particular is pressing.
To get back to Gideon: leaving his wife and ten children in
Mississippi he rode west to East Texas in February, 1835, at the
age of forty-one. The best part of the book, to my mind, is the
journal of this 1835 trip. He came as far as present central Texas,
skirting south of San Antonio and getting finally a little west of
there. He did not come back to Texas until after the war with
Mexico, in 1848, when he was fifty-four. He stayed twenty years,
during which time he brought together most of his recorded col-
lections of, and writings about, plants and animals. He lived
through another, more traumatic, war and reconstruction. The
latter, and the increasingly thick settlement, finally got the best
of Gideon, and, unreconstructed as ever, he moved to Veracruz
in 1868, when he was seventy-five. Five years later, at the age of
eighty, he returned to Texas. He lasted another year and a half,
becoming an invalid only toward the very end. His undiminished
forcefulness in his fifties, sixties, and even seventies is perhaps
the most remarkable fact about Gideon.
As we have come to expect of books from the University of
Texas Press, the typography and make-up are impeccable, the
paper and binding of fine quality. MARSHALL C. JOHNSTON
The University of Texas
Conquest Or Failure? A Biography of J. Frank Norris. By E. Ray
Tatum. Dallas (Baptist Historical Foundation), 1966. Pp.
293. Illustrations.
A former associate pastor of the much publicized Fundamen-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed August 27, 2014.