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Not Now

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972

Book Reviews

look. The author says, however, that the book was not written "for
professional historians, or for all native Southwesterners . . . but
more as a sampler for the world." There is enough subjectivity in
the writing to flavor the story, but not enough to spoil it. If there
really is such a thing as the Texas mystique, it is discernible but
not ostentatious in this book.
Though a good portion of each chapter was already familiar ma-
terial, this reviewer learned something from every one of them.
Rittenhouse is best, however, not in his narration of history but
in his detailed exposition, for example, of the process of breaking
the tremendous log jam on the Red River, in various attempts from
the federal government contract to Henry Shreve in 1833 to the
work of the U.S. Army Engineers directed by Lieutenant E. A.
Woodruff in 1872.
In short, Rittenhouse's book adequately serves the purpose for
which he expressly intended it.
North Texas State University GEORGE D. HENDRICKS
The American Southwest: Its People and Cultures. By Lynn I. Per-
rigo. (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. Pp. x+469.
Illustrations, bibliography, index. $8.95.)
"When a book editor turns over a newly published work to an
author who has written on the same subject," Art Buchwald observed
in a recent column, "the writer of the book is sunk." The reviewer
has no intentions of letting a newer book replace his own and he
frequently nit-picks it to death for factual inaccuracies, lack of depth,
shoddy sentence structure, poor illustrations, and outdated statistics.
Even if all these things were true about Professor Perrigo's latest
book-which they are not-I have too much respect for him as a gen-
tleman and a scholar to lacerate one of his publications. From 1947
until his retirement in 1971, he served as chairman of the Department
of History and Social Sciences at New Mexico Highlands University,
taught twelve to fifteen hours per week, served on innumerable
campus committees, and authored four respectable books on Latin
America and the Southwest. His latest history of the region is pri-
marily designed as a college textbook and to a large extent repre-
sents an updated version of Our Spanish Southwest (196o). Both


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 3, 2016.

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