The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983

Book Reviews

sand dunes, West Texas mountains, Panhandle wheat fields, and
everywhere the obligatory wild flowers. Although it is perhaps unfair
to compare them to the work of a superlative nature photographer
such as Ansel Adams or to the photographs by such chroniclers of
farm life as Dorothea Lange or Russell Lee, the pictures in Landscapes
of Texas have none of the tension of conflict between man and nature
that characterizes the work of our finest photographic artists. How-
ever conventionally beautiful, these idyllic scenes are quickly for-
gotten, while a photograph by Walker Evans or a word sketch by John
Graves of the tortured face of a defeated farmer or a soil-leached cot-
ton field remain to haunt the memory.
John Graves's canon, although distinguished, is far from extensive.
In addition to his three books about life on the upper middle Brazos,
he has coauthored The Water Hustlers, a book on the fearsome de-
pletion of America's water resources, and a number of travel essays
published in Holiday during the 1950s. More important could be his
work in fiction. Although he refers to his early attempts at short-story
writing as "those really crummy slick things" (Patrick Bennett, Talk-
ing with Texas Writers, p. 67), such later creations as "The Aztec
Dog," "The Last Running" and the fictional "His Chapter" from
Hard Scrabble reveal a very real talent for short fiction. Graves has
one finished but to his mind "badly flawed" novel manuscript that is
now twenty years old and another unfinished novel on which he works
only sporadically. So far, Graves stated in a recent interview, he and
long fiction have not proved compatible. However, "I still have
hopes," he says, "that I might do a halfway decent novel before I die"
(Texas Writers, p. 67). Given Graves's great talent in prose, I can add
a hearty "amen" to this hope.
Institute of Texan Cultures THOMAS CUTRER
Republicans, Negroes, and Progressives in the South, 1912-1916. By
Paul D. Casdorph. (University, Ala.: University of Alabama
Press, 1981. Pp. ix+262. Preface, tables, notes, bibliography,
index. $18.95.)
Paul D. Casdorph of West Virginia State College is a historian of
southern state Republican parties (especially Texas's). In this, his first
region-wide work, he assays the sorry imbroglio between Theodore
Roosevelt's Progressive party and the regular Republicans in the
eleven former Confederate states. It was primarily a white man's con-

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/. Accessed July 7, 2015.