The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977

Book Reviews

"real cowboys" who still "hold the old ways" are now active-is highly
judgmental, his belief that modern cowboys "combine the historic and the
contemporary, the myth and the reality" (p. 226) is as true now as it was
in I921, when artist Charles Russell remorsefully assigned genuine cow
punchers to the pages of history.
Disappointing editorial and typographical slips cannot be attributed to
the authors, who have given general readers an informative, esthetically
pleasing book that effectively portrays the most enduring symbol of the
Old West.
Southwest Texas State University JAMES A. WILSON
Trailing the Longhorns: A Century Later. Text and photographs by Sue
Flanagan; Foreward by Wayne Gard. (Austin: Madrona Press, 1974.
Pp. vii + 209. Illustrations, index, bibliography. $18.50.)
Sue Flanagan set herself two goals with this book. One was to capture
in photographs "something of the lasting spell cast by a land that is dif-
ferent from the drover days, and yet the same." The other was to dis-
cuss the "forces of change that even then were at work to harness this
land." In the first she fairly succeeded; in the second she failed.
The photographs picture solitary stretches of country, fords, houses of
cattlemen, jails, churches, courthouses (or their ruins) known to drovers.
The prints are all black and white, some striking artistically (p. 64), a
few poignant statements of trail life (p. 122). Basically, they show the
land and improvements as they were a decade ago. Precious few shots
reflect the book's title, and virtually none reveal the "spirit of the trail"
any further than the text conjures that spirit to the reader's imagination.
The text focuses on the forces of change and the pathways of the trails
a century ago. It poorly compliments the photographs and is inadequate
as a history of cattle trailing. The contributions of the cattle industry, of
ranching, and of the trail are confused. The extensive work of Professor
Jimmy Skaggs on the Western Trail, the National Trail issue, and the
cattle trailing industry is overlooked in this synthesis of secondary sources
which relies heavily on Wayne Gard's Chisholm Trail and J. Evetts Haley's
Charles Goodnight.
The maps are generally accurate, though much too general to support
the specific data given in the text.
The book's contribution lies in its pictures of the remaining sights along
the former trails from Texas to Montana.

Georgia State University



Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed October 4, 2015.