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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ler, Eric J. Hobsbawm, and Peter Marius Singelmann, without ad-
mitting them directly into his work. Inexplicably, he did not refer to
the classic fugitive study of Americo Paredes. The author's handling of
the role of capitalism is unsophisticated, implying that in Mexico it is
only an evil and that capitalists are mainly responsible for destroying
traditional Mexico.
Superbly written and professionally researched, this book develops
facts and ideas in an exciting, cogent narrative, and avoids stale infor-
mation and worn contexts. In its attractive paper edition-with well-
selected maps and photographs-undergraduate students in Mexican
history will enjoy a first-rate study of a long-neglected subject.
Texas A&M University HENRY C. SCHMIDT
The Waters of the Brazos: A History of the Brazos River Authority. By
Kenneth E. Hendrickson, Jr. (Waco, Tex.: The Texian Press,
1981. Pp. xv+230o. Preface, maps, photographs, endnotes, bibliog-
raphy, index. $12.)
Slicing diagonally across Texas, the Brazos River is a major water-
shed region, taking in growing urban centers and agricultural and pas-
toral lands. Until the twentieth century, the dry river bed of the Brazos
would periodically and dramatically fill with raging flood waters, caus-
ing heavy loss of life and considerable property damage. In 1929 the
Texas legislature established the Brazos River Conservation and Recla-
mation District, amplifying its powers and changing its name to the
Brazos River Authority in 1953. Although a state agency, the BRA has
long been involved with federal and local government entities, as
well as private utility companies, on matters of common interest and
conflict in power allocations, dam constructions, water storage, irriga-
tion canals, and sewerage systems.
The BRA was in an unusual and fortunate position to have its his-
tory written, and Kenneth E. Hendrickson, a history professor at Mid-
western State University, has successfully met the challenge of the task.
He found the BRA records virtually intact and has supplemented them
with personal interviews, local newspaper coverage, and manuscript
collections. The book is not, however, a purely official history. Encom-
passed in the story of the BRA are the rivalries and opposition of the
Corps of Engineers, suspicious farmers and ranchers, and power com-
panies. From its first major construction, the Possum Kingdom Dam,
to the most recent pollution-control projects, the BRA has both won
and lost battles. Despite numerous disputes, the BRA and its opponents


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 24, 2016.

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