The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985

Book Reviews

Texas history may wish for a more extensive treatment of the Revolu-
tion's effect on communities north of the Rio Grande. Such problems,
however, are intrinsic to border studies.
These difficulties aside, Martinez paints a portrait of the Revolution
on the border not available elsewhere, providing interested scholars
and history buffs with a work that will enrich their studies. The se-
lections are well edited, keeping duplication to a minimum and main-
taining the reader's interest. This reviewer found the accounts thor-
oughly engaging and touchingly reminiscent of stories repeated by his
elders. Undoubtedly other readers will be just as captivated.
University of Texas, San Antonio GILBERTO M. HINOJOSA
The Depression in Texas: The Hoover Years. By Donald W. Whisen-
hunt. (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1983. Pp. viii+249.
Preface, acknowledgments, notes, bibliography, index. $27.)
For some it may be disconcerting to realize that the majority of
Americans today have no personal knowledge of the Great Depression.
Donald W. Whisenhunt has assumed the task of filling this gap in the
minds of the average citizen. His book deals primarily with the effect
of the depression on Texas during the Herbert Hoover years, March,
1929-March, 1933. The study concerns Texans who were grappling
with a new phenomenon, a disaster of such magnitude that they did
not readily grasp its significance.
Whisenhunt takes the reader on a chronological and topical journey
through these lean years. In the process, he discusses the reluctance of
most Texans to recognize the effect of the depression. Newspaper edi-
tors, especially, tried to gloss over the reality of a crumbling economy.
Texans, true to their agrarian and Populist heritage, had to find a
villain. Naturally, Easterners, bankers, the wealthy, Republicans, and,
most of all, Herbert Hoover were the "conspirators" responsible.
Farmers' problems received a great deal of the public's attention. In
an effort to raise the price of cotton, the legislature passed a law that
limited acreage to 30 percent of what had been planted the year before.
Even though it was declared unconstitutional before it could become
effective, the law helped to pave the way for similar New Deal
measures.
Whisenhunt also recounts the effects of the depression in human
terms-incredibly low wages, garbage cans sprayed with oil so people
could not salvage the food, malnutrition, teenage transients, in short,
people on the ragged edge of despair. Yet, even with this type of evi-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/. Accessed January 28, 2015.