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

Book Reviews

totality of the author's contributions. Equally important is the fact that,
in a relatively small volume, he has covered a challenging subject and
presented significant discoveries in a remarkably artistic way.
One of the keys to Brack's success is evident in his decision to devote
a major part of his study to long-range, rather than immediate, reasons
for the 1846-1848 conflict. The whole of Chapter 2, for example, is
allocated to Joel R. Poinsett and Mexican reactions to his mission. Chap-
ter 3 is given over to Mexican newspapers' and related observations of the
United States scene in the late I820s. Indeed, five of the work's nine
chapters and a portion of Chapter 6 concern evidence antedating 1840.
Thus readers are enabled to comprehend much about Mexicans' thoughts
and feelings long before the annexation of Texas. Moreover, no chapter
is overwritten. Succinctness happily is a Brack attribute.
In 1971 Seymour V. Connor and Odie B. Faulk listed 766 books and
articles treating aspects of the Mexican War including its origins. Inevit-
ably many of them dealt with topics integral in this new study. Never-
theless, freshness is among the numerous assets of Mexico Views Manifest
Destiny. Why? Because, as a logical scholar, Brack gave research priori-
ties to materials other than official diplomatic sources. Thus his was a
quest primarily for private correspondence, the contents of which-to-
gether with those of newspapers and pamphlets-provide a sense of au-
thenticity that fellow historians are bound to commend. He dug widely
as well as deeply. And the wonder is that we have had to wait so long
for the appearance in English of many of his findings.
Let it also be said emphatically that if Brack has a nationalistic or other
bias, it is not discernible in his pages. In substance as in artistry, his is a
first-rate product. My only adverse criticism has to do with the placing of
notes at ends of chapters. There are very few typographical flaws. The
excellence of the study qualifies it to take and hold a position in the front
rank of valuable works delineating facets of Mexican-United States rela-
tions in the period.
University of Kentucky HOLMAN HAMILTON
A Mexican Family Empire: The Latifundio of the Sdnchez Navarros,
.765-1865. By Charles H. Harris, III. (Austin: University of Texas
Press, 1976. Pp. xvii + 41o. Illustrations, bibliography, index. $15.)
In 1765 Father Jos6 Miguel Sanchez Navarro, the parish priest in Mon-
clova, Coahuila, began acquiring land and other property which was to
serve as the base of an economic empire built on the "twin pillars of

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/. Accessed April 19, 2014.