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

Book Reviews

Robert V. Haynes's excellent account of the Houston Riot is character-
ized by extensive research and clear, vigorous writing. His work consists
essentially of a narrative description of the causes and course of the Riot
as well as the resulting courts-martial. Being well versed in the secondary
literature on black history and the history of violence, the author demon-
strated the significance of his subject by placing it in historical perspective
with major developments that strongly affected black Americans in the
early twentieth century. The only weakness results from the fact that
Haynes sympathizes with the plight of the black soldiers to the extent
that the tone of his writing occasionally gives the impression that the
soldiers were justified in their mutiny and march. This does not, however,
alter the fact that he has made a valuable contribution to the history
of interracial violence, one that compares favorably with Elliot M. Rud-
wick's study of the East St. Louis Riot and John D. Weaver's account of
the Brownsville Raid.
University of Georgia WILLIAM F. HOLMES
The Rawhide Years: A History of the Cattlemen and the Cattle Country.
By Glenn R. Vernam. (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co.,
Inc., 1976. Pp. viii+227. Preface, illustrations, index. $7.95.)
The virtual disappearance of "horse operas" from television and movie
houses during the last few years might indicate to some persons that the
"western" has finally run its course. Such is not the case. Recent works
of fiction and nonfiction still command a major share of national book
sales, and Americans' long-term fascination with the cowboy seems as
strong today as it was among earlier generations. It is the universal ap-
peal of this unique folk hero that makes books such as The Rawhide
Years possible. The author directs his work at the immense general read-
ing audience which seeks a factual record of the cattle kingdom, but
also an account unburdened by economic interpretations and literary sym-
bolism.
Vernam, who brings to his writing a first-hand knowledge of the sub-
ject, weaves the twin themes of change and adaptability throughout his
chapters. He argues that from its hispanic beginnings, the cattle industry
spread and modified itself to accommodate changing technology and geo-
graphical conditions. The development of a rugged cow pony, range saddle,
spurs, chaps, handgun, registered branding symbols, and dozens of other
innovations, therefore, receive detailed narrative treatment similar to that
found in Walter Prescott Webb's The Great Plains. Efforts to isolate these

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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 August 20, 2014.