The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979

Book Reviews

Loughmillers made, why certain individuals and not others were chosen
for interviews, or what criteria the editors used for selecting the tran-
scripts they eventually did include.
None of these criticisms, however, detracts from the book's significant
contribution to the literature of folklore and local history. Francis E.
Abernethy's Foreword contains one of the best descriptions this review-
er has read of the geographical boundaries of the Big Thicket. His sy-
nopsis of the area's history from the Pleistocene to the present is also
well done. The Loughmillers' graphic black and white photographs of
the narrators further complement Big Thicket Legacy.
Texas Historical Commission JOHN R. JAMESON
The United States-Mexico Border: A Politicio Economic Profile. By
Raul A. Fernandez. (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press,
1977. Pp. v+ 174. Introduction, index. $10.95.)
In his introduction the author suggests that some historians may la-
ment the dearth of new historical data in his work and that some tradi-
tional economists will find fault with his methodology. Maybe so, but I
feel that both will be delighted with this intensive investigation into the
unique economic realities of the United States-Mexican border.
Fernandez contends that quantative and qualitative determination of
economic systems aimed at specifying conditions for change cannot be
arrived at by using ahistorical tools and concepts of neoclassical eco-
nomic theory. Instead, within a framework of historical materialism,
the author skillfully blends historical and institutional elements with
Marxist social theory to explain the uneven and irrational development
of the border area.
Although the book is not written as a history the author develops his
theory chronologically. He takes us through three stages: the first, an
analysis of the feudal remnants of land tenure in an otherwise capitalis-
tic Southwest; the second, a study of specific manifestations of the devel-
opment of monopolistic capitalism in the area; and finally, an examina-
tion of the relationships which arise from the uneven economic develop-
ment of different social formations. In the first stage Fernandez deals
with the process that led to the legal establishment of a border that al-
ready existed economically and clearly demonstrates the defeat of one
economic system by a more advanced one. The second stage is marked
by the coincidence of the legal and actual economic border, and, in this
stage, the author shows how the area's labor force is used to satisfy the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/. Accessed July 22, 2014.