The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

turned to their homeland, or thode who moved out of Texas. But these
are not the subject of the book.
The essays themselves, written by both German and non-German
descendants, range from relaxed collections of personal, and inten-
tionally unsupported, generalizations (which are usually delightful
and very probably true) to more precise documentations of material
culture and language variation. Nowhere is one stopped by technical
prose: the function of the symposium was "primarily interpretive and
explanatory," and the essays conform to that purpose.
Worthy of special note is a wonderful thing not always seen in an
effort of this type: some of the essayists step aside and let their infor-
mants do the talking. Voices are heard from early diaries, from formal
works, from the songs and stories that still exist, and from the poems
of young Germans in the 197os visiting Texas for the first time.
Various essays discuss a number of statements well worth consider-
ing in a broader context than the German Texan story: many things
the Germans brought with them to Texas-skills, possessions, ideas,
talents-were almost worthless under new conditions; identifiable
facets of German culture-folk beliefs, celebrations, language-are
fading away and will be saved only by revivalist activity on the part
of younger generations; most of the emigrants discovered the truism
that one cannot be a working farmer and a creative philosopher (or
artist or poet) at the same time.
This collection is a worthwhile addition to the growing literature
about the German Texans. It is a responsible local comment on the
history of the Texans of German descent.
The Institute of Texan Cultures JOHN L. DAVIS
The Presidency of William McKinley. By Lewis L. Gould. (Lawrence,
Kansas: The Regents Press of Kansas, 1980. Pp. xi+294. Preface,
notes, biographic essay, index. $15.)
Was William McKinley the first modern president? Lewis L. Gould
thinks so. Successful party leader, innovator in electioneering arts, mas-
ter of his administration, chief diplomatic negotiator, and effective
wartime leader, McKinley emerges from this study as a strong execu-
tive, showing the way for future presidents Theodore Roosevelt,
William H. Taft, and Woodrow Wilson.
As party leader, McKinley welded together a Republican majority
that continued in office until 1912. The events of Grover Cleveland's

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101208/. Accessed December 25, 2014.