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

Book Reviews

destinies. He places Crystal City, in Zavala County, within the historical
confines of South Texas, and then he proceeds briefly to point up the nature
of the town's growth and the evolution of its social structure. He follows
with a step-by-step description of the events of the celebrated city council
election of I963 and its aftermath, which saw Chicanos win control of
Crystal City's government and attempt to run the community for the first
time. Subsequently, he deals with the stormy episode of the school boycott
of 969, which was an event that sprang from a dispute over the means of
naming high school cheerleaders and that served to instill a new political
consciousness among Crystal City's Chicanos.
Throughout his account, Shockley is most effective in ascribing aims and
motivations to political groupings and personalities. His evaluations of the
outcome of political struggles are well-reasoned and plausible. Overall,
Shockley writes as the detached scholar when he treats the emotionally
charged issues that touch upon ethnic background and social class. He
shows a slight inclination, however, to lean toward the Chicano's side. Such
a proclivity may have sprung in part from the refusal of several prominent
Anglos to grant him interviews. Yet Shockley's sympathy here is by no
means unmeasured and maudlin, because it rests on the assumption that the
Chicanos were fighting only for their just due as citizens, using tactics
commensurate with the inherent imbalance of the extant political-social
institutions; the Anglos, a long-privileged minority used to running Crystal
City by themselves, were struggling to perpetuate an unjust status quo.
Also, Shockley approaches his subject in a disciplined way, examining
pertinent literature on minorities' politics and other relevant data, both
published and unpublished. He has interviewed many of the participants
and has made use of oral history holdings. His footnotes and bibliography
point up problems that other researchers might profitably investigate. He
distinguishes the particular from the general about the events at Crystal
City, and, finally, he offers a stimulating prognostication about the possible
future directions of the Chicano movement in South Texas. Shockley's book
is an important contribution, both to the history of minorities in the United
States and to the story of the Chicanos in Texas.
Memphis, Tennessee THOMAS W. CROUCH
Katy Northwest: The Story of a Branch Line Railroad. By Donovan L.
Hofsommer. (Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, 1976.
Pp. xiii + 305. Illustrations. $27.95.)
While the frontier may have "closed" in i890, many gaps still exist-

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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 December 27, 2014.