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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

in United States Society. The members saw the mutualista as a social
club, not a vehicle for improving the community. The leadership,
however, seemed to be more activist.
This book is a well-written and researched survey based on original
sources both historical and sociological. As a basic study it should in-
spire more historical investigation into the mutualista movement.
San Diego State University RICHARD GRISWOLD DEL CASTILLO
Cowboys and Cadillacs: How Hollywood Looks at Texas. By Don
Graham. (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1983. Pp. x+145. Ac-
knowledgments, photographs, movie log, appendix, notes, index.
$10.95, paper.)
Texas and Texans have been a dominant theme in Western movies
for more than sixty years. Film topics have ranged from the tradi-
tional-defense of the Alamo, cattle drives, Texas Rangers, oil booms-
to those, associated with modern Texas, that accent big city lifestyles,
NASA, and immense wealth. In Cowboys and Cadillacs Don Graham,
an English professor at the University of Texas at Austin, provides full
treatment of this subject. Drawing on long hours spent in local theaters
when he was a kid and an exhaustive study of Western films, he de-
scribes the role Westerns have played in creating the larger-than-life
image of a "mythic Texas." The result is an informative work that
will delight a wide readership.
Graham divides his book into eight chapters. In the first chapter,
"Crossing the Red River," the author establishes his roots (he grew
up near McKinney), describes his Western film course, and asserts that
movies, more than any other medium, have told the world what Texas
is like. In "The First Picture Show," he traces the making of Westerns
in Texas (the earliest was in 19o09) and describes Tom Mix's role in
setting the tone for the portrayal of the typical cowboy. "Silver Bullets
and Blanks" focuses on the Western B movies of the 193os and 194os,
the heyday of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, whose films were mostly
about Rangers and cowboy life and were pitched to children. "History
Lesson" considers films about the Alamo, which, Graham says, have
consistently failed to convey the fury of the battle there. "Texas
Crude" brings the story down to the popular TV series "Dallas." In the
"Ugly Texan" movies (i.e., Dr. Strangelove) of the 196os, Texans were
boorish and provincial; with the assassination of John F. Kennedy the
image of Texas sank to an all-time low. "Hard Country" discusses how
Texas mythology has portrayed women ("somewhere behind horses

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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 July 29, 2014.