Southwestern Historical Quarterly
book's twenty-nine photographs are poorly reproduced. Occasionally,
as when Mance talks of religion or philosophy, he tends to ramble
into repetition and tedium, and the book would have profited from a
sterner editorial hand. I Say Me for a Parable is not the definitive
biography of Mance Lipscomb, but it is the material from which such
a biography can be constructed. For all of its imperfections it is a
labor of love, without which a trove of priceless lore would have been
lost with the death of Mance Lipscomb. As Mance said, "They lef a
lot of thangs undone, when they misst: Blind Lemon. Leadbelly. An
other players like me and, Mississippi John Hurt. Freddie MacDowell.
Let them die. Without in history." For helping to save the life of
Mance Lipscomb from similar oblivion, Glenn Myres is greatly to be
commended. For asking one hundred dollars for his transcripts, he
is seeking to exploit Mance's life and music as surely as the plantation
owners and overseers did "in the come up."
Institute of Texan Cultures THOMAS W. CUTRER
The New Urban America: Growth and Politics in Sunbelt Cities. By
Carl Abbott. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina
Press, 1981. Pp. viii+317. Acknowledgements, introduction,
notes, bibliography, index. $19.95, cloth; $9.95, paper.)
By consensus of popular, journalistic, and academic use, there is a
sunbelt. But it may be as hard to define as obscenity. The only thing
clear is which states are not in anybody's sunbelt definition. Minne-
sota, Iowa, and all of the states north of the Ohio River and the
Mason-Dixon line are out. The other thirty-three states of the union
are sometimes in and sometimes out, depending on an author's usage.
Carl Abbott condemns this "'impressive elasticity in meaning" (p.
7) and in its place "suggests a precise definition for the sunbelt" (p.
to). Rather than rely on popular perception, Abbott employs 1940-
1970 census figures to identify regions of rapidly growing Standard
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA). From this data, he fashions an
historical sunbelt composed of "a pair of regions oriented toward the
southeastern and southwestern corners of the United States" (p. 33).
The two hypotenuses run from Baltimore to Mobile and Seattle to
Beaumont. This allows Abbott to include Norfolk, Portland, and
Denver (the cities with which he is most familiar) as three of his five
case studies; but it excludes from sunbelt status such southern cities
as New Orleans, Birmingham, Memphis, Nashville, and Little Rock,
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 April 18, 2015.