Southwestern Historical Quarterly
problem. El Paso, little more than an isolated village at the time,
appears as a typical boom town. As western buffs know, these are the
ingredients for a surefire thriller. Both points, of course, are shrouded
by the ambiguities of the period and setting, which continue to render
many categorical conclusions impossible. As a consequence, Metz's
presentation will inevitably raise both champions and critics. Persons
who enjoy a racey Wild West saga will probably be delighted, although
some have doubtlessly already taken issue over the number of shots
fired in a given gun battle, whether Stoudenmire was a dedicated
idealist or an unmitigated scoundrel and opportunist, and so on.
Others who approach the American West with somewhat more reserve
will probably be disturbed on occasion by Metz's treatment and
development of his subject. It appears fairly obvious, however, that
the last group may have missed the goal Metz set for himself when
he undertook this examination of Stoudenmire's life.
University of Texas, Austin CHESTER V. KIELMAN
Bourbonism and Agrarian Protest: Louisiana Politics, 1877-r9oo.
By William Ivy Hair. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University
Press, 1969. Pp. viii + 305. Illustrations, bibliography, index.
William Ivy Hair, an associate professor of American history in
Florida State University, has written a well-balanced study of Louisi-
ana politics from the end of Reconstruction until the turn of the
century. His study has not been confined to a consideration of factional
politics alone, but covers in depth the social, economic, and racial
conditions within the state which interacted to form the realities of
bourbon rule. The twin, yet opposing, forces of white supremacy
and various protest movements by both Negro and white dissident
groups form the motif of the study.
Hair opens with an account of Louisiana's role in the contested
Hayes-Tilden election and the resultant freeing of the state from
Reconstruction rule. When the Republicans relinquished the reins
of government, the bourbon Democrats moved in to stay for the rest
of the century. Hair, like C. Vann Woodward, points out that the term
bourbonism has been "liable to the widest misuse." In Louisiana,
however, the bourbon faction "rejected the noblesse oblige implica-
tions of the Old South code and unblushingly embraced the sort of
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/. Accessed November 25, 2015.