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

Book Reviews

is hard not to conclude that much of the pain and tragedy was self-
inflicted. Liberal and frequent doses of alcohol scarcely served to alle-
viate the chronic depression and paranoia from which the author suf-
fered as he passed through middle age.
In 1960 Gipson finally realized that his life was out of control. He
went on the wagon and consented to undergo shock treatment in an
effort to right himself mentally. Both measures proved temporary. His
drinking cost him his marriage of more than two decades, at least some
part of his sanity, and eventually his ability to write. In the end Gip-
son left behind one good book, Old Yeller (1956), and a few more-
Hound-Dog Man (1949), The Home Place (1950), and Cowhand
(1953)-that are worth reading. His niche, even in regional literature,
is small.
Cox's work is not, in any sense of the term, a "critical biography."
In it there is virtually no critical evaluation either of Gipson's books
or of his life. Adopting the flat, disinterested prose of his profession,
Cox simply relates the facts, allowing the reader to draw his own con-
clusions. This is as it should be. The story implicit in those facts is sad
enough without gratuitous commentary from the biographer.
Fred Gipson: Texas Storyteller deserves special commendation for
the solid research that underlies it. Cox relies heavily on information
gleaned from Gipson's papers and manuscripts, which are housed in
the Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin.
In addition, he consulted other manuscript collections and interviewed
many of Gipson's relatives and friends. In short, the writer did his
homework. The result is a reliable biography that all who care about
Texas writing will find interesting and helpful.
Tarleton State University WILLIAM T. PILKINGTON
The Depression in the Southwest. Edited by Donald W. Whisenhunt.
(Port Washington, N.Y.: National University Publications, Ken-
nikat Press, 198o. Pp. ix+ 162. Preface, tables, index. $15.)
This brief anthology about the 1930s in the Southwest contains
articles concerning the Civilian Conservation Corps, soil conservation,
the cattle industry, country music, scapegoats for the hard times, the
influence of Texans upon governmental policy, the results of the New
Deal in Texas and Arkansas, and the treatment of the black minority.
The focus is upon Texas, but information is also given about border-
ing states. If there is an overarching theme, it is that Texas went into

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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 August 29, 2014.