The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Since its publication in the early I950s in the prestigious Problemnias Agri-
colas e Industriales de Mexico its lack of an English version created a major
lacuna in the literature on Mexico in English. Professor Rippy's work is a
solid though somewhat turgid exposition of the problems created for Mexico.
by oil, by foreign oil companies, and, ultimately, by Mexico's decision to
expropriate privately owned oil lands-both foreign and domestic-in
March, 1938. Rippy details the implications of Mexico's law in relation to
international law, and the conflict between Mexico and the United States
over Article 27 of the Constitution of 1917.
The work provides excellent background on the development of the oil
industry in Mexico. Rippy gives us a good account of the growth of
that industry even during the turbulent decade of the Mexican Revolution
(1910-1920). Quite correctly, Rippy ties in agrarian policy, the role of
silver mining, and Mexico's international indebtedness with the oil question.
He concludes his work with an analysis of the problems involved in settling
the dispute over expropriation.
The major area in which I feel uncomfortable about this work is the
fact that the two decades between the Spanish and English publication have
caused the book to be seriously dated. The work of Robert Freeman Smith,
E. David Cronin, Lorenzo Meyer, E. V. Niemeyer, and others who have-
also dealt with the oil question in Mexico since Rippy did are not mentioned.
While a major revision of the work might not be called for, an updated
bibliography most certainly would have made readers aware that newer
material had been consulted. As it stands now, the work is still useful but
in many ways seems more of a slightly dated guidepost in the evolution of
Mexican historiography.
University of Montana MANUEL A. MACHADO, JR.
Colonel Greene and the Copper Skyrocket. By C. L. Sonnichsen. (Tucson:
University of Arizona Press, 1974. Pp. viii+325. Illustrations, bibli-
ography, index. $4.95-)
C. L. Sonnichsen is one of the most respected historians of the American<
Southwest. Of course, one has come to expect that his efforts will be met
with the critical acclaim they well deserve; and Colonel Greene and the-
Copper Skyrocket, his latest effort, is no exception. It is a well-researched,
well-written biography which holds the reader's interest from beginning
to end.
Colonel William Cornell Greene was a delightful rogue who falls in the-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 25, 2016.

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