The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

publicans in the War of Reform, attached themselves to the French
imperial court and sold a monarchical gold brick to a willing and other-
wise intelligent emperor-with the aid of that ruler's emotional Span-
ish empress.
The pieces fell into place: a generation of diplomatic stumbling and
frustration, real as well as fancied abuses of a hypersensitive French
business community, the manipulations by that prince of scoundrels
Alphonse Dubois de Saligny, Juairez's suspension of debt payment, a
lingering Mexican hangover from the monarchical plan of Iguala.
Napoleon glued the counterfeit together with a Grand Design of ag-
grandizement and empire. Thence all trails led to a blaze of musketry
and the death of more than a naive Hapsburg prince; the monarchical
idea also fell at the Hill of Bells, and a nation was born.
The French Experience in Mexico is a splendid example of how his-
tory should be written. The author had an objective: the murky decades
leading to intervention must be clarified so that the misbegotten inter-
vention of the 186os could be understood as other than an unaccount-
able aberration. Professor Barker sifted every relevant archive from
Travis County, Texas, to Vienna to uncover her materials. Her writing
is clear, simple, and interesting. Every modern diplomat assigned to a
touchy, testy "developing" nation should read and ponder this work. Its
value to the scholarly world needs no further urging.
University of Houston JACK A. HADDICK
The Frontier: Comparative Studies, Volume Two. Edited by William
W. Savage, Jr., and Stephen I. Thompson. (Norman: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1979. Pp. 262. Introduction, index. $14.95.)
Since the seminal essay of Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893 the
spread of frontier study from an American context into new chrono-
logical and geographic fields has been a prominent historiographic
movement. Less familiar, however, has been the independent develop-
ment of traditions of frontier study in such disparate disciplines as ge-
ography, anthropology, and ecology. Although various frontier scholars
are dealing with similar concepts and analyzing comparable phenom-
ena, each branch has developed its own approaches and unique termi-
nology. As a consequence, the exchange of information and techniques
has become difficult. The University of Oklahoma has attempted to
overcome these difficulties by establishing a program of annual sym-
posia bringing together frontier scholars from various fields. The Fron-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 18, 2014.