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

Book Reviews

information might be given about a plant's status as rare, scarce, or en-
dangered. A few (very few) photographs could be more sharply focused.
The book is bound to have some typos. (Though I could not find any.)
This beautiful and useful book could be improved, essentially, only by
the appearance of a second volume devoted to the remainder of the
1,000 flowering plants of the Big Thicket.
North Texas State University PETE A. Y. GUNTER
Men of the Saddle: Working Cowboys of North America. By Ted Grant
and Andy Russell. (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1978.
Pp. 192. Author's foreword, photographer's preface, illustrations.
$19-95.)
Though their story has been little-told, men on horseback, working
cattle over a broad landscape, have contributed much to the economy
and culture of the Canadian West. In southwestern Alberta, in the
shadow of the Rockies, open-range ranching took hold late in the nine-
teenth century and evolved into today's thriving industry. Its modern-
day dimensions, its people, animals, and natural setting, are the subjects
of a somewhat mistitled book, whose superb photographs and readable
text will provide nonproessional American readers with insights into
western Canadian cattle-raising.
Andy Russell, rancher, outdoorsman, and popular writer, was raised
among cows and cow people on his family's Alberta ranch. From his
father and other oldtimers, he absorbed an admiration for those who
pioneered fenceless, premechanized, open-range ranching. From his
own experiences, he developed a kinship with today's men of the
saddle. Though their methods and equipment have changed, they ap-
proach the challenge of their business with the seemingly contradictory,
but very necessary, qualities which their kind has always displayed:
practicality and the urge to gamble. The first half of the book is Rus-
sell's text, part history, part range lore, and part personal reflection.
His first-hand knowledge and ability to tell a good story make these
five chapters easily read and quite enjoyable.
Ted Grant, one of Canada's foremost photojournalists, played cow-
boys as a boy growing up in the city. But in creating his nearly hun-
dred-page photo essay, "Cowboys through the Seasons," he rode with,
lived with, and came to be friends with those who work the Alberta
range. His coverage is remarkable; his artistry, a visual feast. In winter,
a chinook crosses the mountains; in summer, grass-and-timber-and-foot-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/. Accessed August 22, 2014.