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

Book Reviews

of weather and climate-temperature, moisture, wind and storms-but
this account is not simply a listing and description of data. Weems discusses
the causes and effects in a meaningful manner that is easily comprehended.
He devotes the first chapter and parts of others to discussing the value
of weather records and the manner in which they are gathered. Chapter
4, especially, is a discussion of the conditions that govern Texas weather,
with a look at the extreme variations they may produce. Chapter 5 ex-
pands on chapter 4 by interpreting common folk sayings. Chapter 6 is an
interesting look at forecasting by both the National Weather Bureau and
television. Throughout part one (chapters 1 through 6) Weems provides
much insight into various aspects of biometeorology: the relation of weather
to psychology. Part two deals primarily with some of the more notable
weather events in Texas. The book contains some good weather and history
trivia for the state. There seem to be no serious errors in the work, though
it is not always certain which sources constitute "official" records. Even
though the focus is on Texas, as the title indicates, much of the discus-
sion is applicable nationwide. This book would be good reading for anyone
interested in a very entertaining introduction to the weather and historical
geography of Texas. As the author notes on page 6, "certainly the weather
is often as exasperating, but still as interesting, as ever. At least it should
merit the attention of any Texas resident who breathes Texas air and drinks
Texas water." I even recommend the book to those who don't.
Central State Unzversity JAMES ROGERS
Edmond, Oklahoma
The Colonial Quarter Race Horse. By Alexander Mackay-Smith. (Mid-
dleburg, Va.: Colonial Quarter Horse Publication, 1983.
Pp. xxxiii + 328. Photographs, illustrations, notes, bibliography,
appendices, index. $100.)
Such an enduring Texas icon as the quarter horse ought by rights to
boast an ancestry worthy of its celebrity. But it was not until the publica-
tion of Alexander Mackay-Smith's handsome and thoroughly researched
book that the true provenance of the quarter horse received scholarly
attention.
Aside from easy generalities ("the quarter horse was bred to run a
quarter-mile")-and it must be said the breed suffers from no dearth of
sedulous chroniclers-little of the vast amount written about the quarter
horse sheds much light on the kind of stock from which it sprang. An
affecting part of the popular myth runs that, like his yeoman owner, the
forebear of the quarter horse made his way to Texas over the mountains

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 27, 2014.