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

Book Reviews

volume, "breed a certain mandarinism impervious to the needs of a
public" (p. 93). Oh well, as the modernization theorists assure us, in
a "modernized" society specialization is a virtue.
Given all of this, in addition to the fact that this reviewer is an aca-
demic historian writing in a scholarly journal, it would be remiss to
conclude anything other than that these essays are for the most part
rather shallow and pointless. As in virtually all collections, the contri-
butions vary. W. L. Taitte's study of "The Fine Arts and Patronage
in the Modern South" is an excellent essay-the most perceptive exami-
nation of high culture in the South that this reviewer has seen-but,
alas, this evaluation may be influenced by the fact that Taitte is not
only a journalist but also the possessor of a Ph.D. in English litera-
ture. John A. Crowl, publisher of the Chronicle of Higher Education,
and Neal R. Peirce, well known for his books on the American states,
comment intelligently on trends in southern education and in southern
urbanization. Otherwise, there is the obligatory essay by a white
southern native extolling the virtues of the good old boys, the obliga-
tory essay by a black journalist lamenting the sorry state of race rela-
tions, and the obligatory essay on southern religion which begins a
paragraph with the statement: "Another factor shaking up churches
these days is the shift of society to a secular mode" (p. 69).
Nonspecialists who enjoy reading about the South could do worse
for bedtime reading than Dixie Dateline. Except perhaps for the
essay by Taitte, specialists will find little new.
University of Georgia NUMAN V. BARTLEY
Women of the Depression: Caste and Culture in San Antonio, 1929-
1939. By Julia Kirk Blackwelder. (College Station, Tex.: Texas
A&M University Press, 1984. Pp. xix+279. Preface, acknowledg-
ments, introduction, tables, illustrations, maps, appendices,
sources, index. $22.50.)
Julia Kirk Blackwelder's Women of the Depression: Caste and Cul-
ture in San Antonio, 1929-1939 provides a penetrating cross-cultural
examination of the life-styles of San Antonio women. Speculating on
the influence of culture, she reconstructs the intricate social and
economic matrices shaping the lives of black, Mexican-American, and
Anglo women. Blackwelder persuasively argues that a caste system
existed, with Anglos accorded a privileged status. Compiling extensive
statistical data, she documents occupational segregation according to
both gender and ethnicity. In 1930, for instance, 49 percent of all Unit-

337

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 May 23, 2015.