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

Book Reviews

the latter three of which all grew faster than Portland by Abbott's own
figures. (Table 1.5).
Although this reviewer and others may disagree with Abbott's un-
usual and controversial definition of the sunbelt, one could at least
have admired its precision and consistency had he not within a few
pages lapsed into the same sort of imprecise usage he so roundly crit-
icised in others. He often uses aggregate South and West census
figures to make points. In four of his tables headed ". . . Sunbelt
SMSAs .. ." (2.2, 2.4, 3.2, and 3.3) he includes a Mid-South category,
even though his official definition excludes that region. Table 6.1
provides information on urban renewal programs in seventeen "Sun-
belt Cities," three of which (Birmingham, Little Rock, and Nashville)
Abbott had read out of the sunbelt in Chapter One. Even more in-
consistently, on numerous occasions Abbott mentions Memphis, Bir-
mingham, and New Orleans in contexts that clearly include them
within the sunbelt. (See pp. 51, 54, lo2, 113, and 214).
Unfortunately, the problems of a controversial and inconsistently
applied definition diminish the worth of an otherwise valuable book.
Abbott's arduous research mixes heavy doses of Atlanta, San Antonio,
Norfolk, Portland, and Denver with random examples from other
cities to propose stages of growth and political change from central
city boosterism to a pluralistic metropolis of independent suburbs
and assertive neighborhoods. He correctly identifies the origins of the
sunbelt phenomenon in the 1940s, even though Kevin P. Phillips did
not coin the word "sunbelt" until 1969.
If one reads The New Urban America as a selective, comparative
study of metropolitan developments in cities that may or may not be
in the sunbelt, then it holds both useful information and interesting
insights. But it will not serve as the definitive history of the rise of
the sunbelt.
Clayton Junior College BRADLEY R. RICE
Morrow, Georgia
Mexicano Resistance in the Southwest: "The Sacred Right of Self
Preservation." By Robert J. Rosenbaum. (Austin: The University
of Texas Press, 1981. Pp. xii+ 241. Preface, maps, illustrations,
appendices, notes, bibliography, index. $14.85.)
In the tradition and mood of Rodolfo F. Acufia's Occupied Ameri-
ca: The Chicano's Struggle Toward Liberation (1972), Robert Rosen-

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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 20, 2014.