The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978

Book Reviews

Although much material following Chapter 6 has a familiar ring, furth-
er line by line comparisons of texts is hardly essential to determine what
kind of "writing" required "about 2/2 years" (preface).
Any professional historian who works very long in local history develops
a profound appreciation for dedicated amateurs who learn the rudiments
of research and writing procedures and delve patiently and effectively into
their history. Their omission of graduate school niceties can be easily over-
looked. It is exactly such persons that these self-styled authors and the
pretentious Staked Plains Press would do well to emulate and they might
begin by learning that feeble gestures toward documentation do not vali-
date practices which earn grades of flat "F" on freshman term papers.
Basic organization in the book is chronological, but is fragmented by
topical, peripheral material which is at best incidental to the subject. Anec-
dotes are placed in conspicuous boxes; headline-like titles and subtitles
fracture the text; and Spanish terms are devoid of diacritical marks. The
resulting format bespeaks a tabloid rather than a book to be taken seriously
by a projected Panhandle readership which deserves better than to be
patronized with sensationalism.
On the positive side, Panhandle Pilgrimage is bountifully illustrated with
significant, seldom seen photographs-only rarely accompanied by court-
esy lines. Had this book been confined to pictorial history with carefully
prepared identifying and explanatory notes, it probably would have been
eminently worthwhile.
West Texas State University FREDERICK W. RATHJEN
Father of Texas Geology: Robert T. Hill. By Nancy Alexander. (Dallas:
Southern Methodist University Press, 1976. Pp. vii + 317. Illustra-
tions, index. $12.50.)
Too little is known about the role played by men of science in studying
and explaining the American West. Fortunately, this perceptive and care-
fully researched biography of geologist Robert T. Hill (1858-1941) helps
to fill the void. The author, a professor of geology at Stephen F. Austin
University, skillfully brings into focus Hill's scientific work and its impact
upon social and economic developments, while tracing in detail his long
and busy life.
Considered a troublesome child by relatives who raised him in wartorn
Nashville, Tennessee, Hill migrated to Comanche, Texas, at the age of
sixteen to help an older brother publish a newspaper. When neither friends
nor the few books he acquired could satisfy his curiosity about natural

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101205/. Accessed February 5, 2016.