Union Pacific Country devotes far more attention to the develop-
ment of the land itself than to the usual story of promotions, scandals,
town building, and actual road construction. A few of the 54 illus-
trations, especially the one of the sod-house family opposite page 177,
have appeared in at least 500 other books about the West. But all are
appropriate to the text and some are even original reproductions.
Personally, I liked best the material relating to the Great American
Desert, even though the author fails to mention in a footnote or in the
bibliography the classical study on the subject published in 1966 by
another prominent Western historian-well known for his modesty as
well as for his works.
The University of Toledo W. EUGENE HOLLON
Mexico and the Old Southwest: People, Palaver, Places. By Haldeen
Braddy. (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1971. Pp. xi
+229. Illustrations. $12.50.)
Haldeen Braddy, a noted authority on western folklore and myth,
has presented another highly readable collection of previously pub-
lished essays which should delight the western history buff. The prose
is lucid and agreeably sprinkled with anecdotes which represent the
old and the new to be found along the Mexico borderlands. Serious
students of western history should be warned that the author takes a
popular rather than a scholarly approach in this book; and, indeed,
this was the intent of Braddy, a professor of English at University of
Texas, El Paso, since 1946.
The essays are arranged in three groupings: "people," "palaver,"
and "places." The people range from Pancho Villa to Jesse James, the
palaver covers the "Big Talk of the Big Bend" as well as "The Pachu-
cos and Their Argot," and the places extend from underground dens
of Ciudad Jurez to East Texas hunting windies.
Although it is impractical to comment on each work, a few of the
essays warrant specific discussion. I particularly enjoyed the short study
of the artist illustrators of the Southwest-Tom Lea, H. D. Bugbee,
and Jos6 Cisneros-which is accompanied by superb examples of re-
gional pictoral art. The description of "Big Bend" country in "Out
Where the West Is," provides the reader with the flavor of the bygone
frontier. And, of course, we have the perennial story of the "lost" mine
which reminds one of George P. Hammond's comment on a "lost"
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101201/. Accessed March 30, 2015.