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

Book Reviews

the court affected life in the Southwest, he has produced what is really less
a work of legal history than a lawyer's treatise on land-grant litigation.
Another weakness of the book is its inadequate discussion of the legisla-
tive process which produced the Court of Private Land Claims. Bradfute
dismisses this subject in two pages, based entirely on an Interior Department
annual report, three presidential messages, and a i912 history of New
Mexico. Since the act establishing the court provided for an unusual form
of appellate review which seems to indicate that Congress had little confi-
dence in the body it was creating, and since that measure became law on
the same day as one effecting a major reform in the structure of the federal
judiciary-the creation of the circuit courts of appeals-the author owes
his reader something more. A thorough analysis of relevant congressional
material seems requisite.
Certainly, it would be of greater value than eleven pages on the provi-
sions of the statute. Bradfute tends to belabor those matters which he does
discuss. Awkward prose and a number of grammatical errors also mar his
work. He deserves praise for plowing virgin land on the frontiers of legal
history, but the harvest is disappointing.
University of Texas at Austin MICHAL R. BELNAP
Rio Grande. Photographs by Robert Reynolds; text by Tony Hillerman.
(Portland, Oregon: Charles H. Belding, Graphic Arts Center Publish-
ing Co., 1975. Pp. I27. Photographs. $25.)
While Rio Grande is produced in the same luxurious format and illus-
trated with the same splendid pictures by Robert Reynolds, it does not
endure as satisfactorily as other books by Reynolds and Charles H. Belding.
In a book that implies by its title that it is a study of the Rio Grande and
its country, Reynolds has remarkably few pictures that would characterize
the river for most Texans. As usual, you will not find pictures of the cities.
But Reynolds has also virtually omitted the stirring rapids of the Big Bend
canyons, the river people (both Mexican and American), the small stream
of a river that thousands of Mexicans cross each year in search of employ-
ment.
Nor does the text complement the pictures as it might. Tony Hillerman
of the University of New Mexico has contributed a readable essay, but the
large format intended for pictures apparently dictated that the text be piled
to twelve inches in height, two columns per page, a virtually unreadable
arrangement. And Hillerman's decided preference for New Mexico has
led to several misstatements or errors. Mariscal Canyon is not "almost 50

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101203/. Accessed July 31, 2014.