The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988

Book Reviews

and of all who stuck to an inhospitable land despite the hardships. His
sketches range from the inspiring to the humorous: the heroism of ran-
cher Sam Wohlford in a howling, high-plains blizzard; the dogged per-
sistence of rainmaker Tex Thornton, firing aerial torpedoes into blank
skies during the drought of the 1930s; the comic come-uppance of an ar-
chetypally jealous husband, Webb Wharton (who, incidentally, kept a
stuffed cow in the sun room of his home).
The second part of High Plains Yesterdays, "Survivors of the Dust Bowl
Era" (occupying about a third of the book), deals exclusively with per-
sonal accounts of dust-bowl experiences and contains some of the most
evocative descriptions of black dusters the period has produced.
High Plains Yesterdays is not an academic book. It offers no new theories
or interpretations, and its generalizations suffer from a scant acquain-
tance with the historical literature (including even J. Evetts Haley's The
XIT Ranch of Texas, a careful reading of which would have eliminated
some factual inaccuracies); but it is an extremely worthwhile book
nonetheless. Dawson has preserved the kind of homely material present-
ly being collected-often less coherently-in so-called "oral histories":
the how-it-was stories we invariably wish we had when the people who
could tell them are no longer with us.
University of Nebraska at Omaha RICHARD L. LANE
Every Sun That Rises: Wyatt Moore of Caddo Lake. Edited by Thad Sitton
and James H. Conrad. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985.
Pp. 167. Introduction, photographs, maps, illustrations, notes, in-
dex. $17.95, cloth; $8.95, paper.)
Wyatt Moore is, as a fellow East Texan says, "a real pistol." At eighty-
five, Moore is a vigorous and garrulous spokesman for his native land
around Caddo Lake, and Every Sun That Rises is his intensely personal
memoir of life in the swamps on the Texas-Louisiana border.
A product of the Caddo Lake Oral History Project, the book represents
oral history at its best. The text is composed solely of Moore's own words,
carefully edited into a cohesive whole that retains the original flavor of
the oral history interviews, which were conducted according to the highest
standards of historical research. While the book reads smoothly, Moore's
unique manner of expression is kept without changes in grammar or
vocabulary. For example, Moore speaks on his moonshining days: "Back
yonder during Prohibition there wasn't a lot of trying to find stills. Mostly
the stills that was destroyed was reported by some hunter or by somebody
who was mad at you. And if you found it tore up, you'd just put up another
one" (p. 99).

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/. Accessed August 28, 2014.