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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

after disastrous interventions in the cultural and political affairs of Ger-
mans overseas by both the kaiser's and Adolf Hitler's Germany, we
should be grateful that a policy approaching laissez-faire now prevails.
It is not without irony that this book received indirect West German
subsidies. Pressures toward monolinguality are destroying hopes of
maintaining alternatives to English-language culture in the United
States. Perhaps only among sectarians, as among remnants of the Penn-
sylvania Germans, can ethnicity survive and tourism flourish. Such is
the disparity of power between ethnic existence and the larger society
that fragments of a once-vibrant culture and people are transmogrified
into artifacts for consumption by tourists and objects of investment for
The City College of the City University of New York WALTER STRUVE
Quanah Parker and His People. By Bill Neeley. Edited by Winston Odom.
Foreword by Claire Kuehn. (Slaton, Tex.: Brazos Press, 1986.
Pp. xv+2 12. Acknowledgments, foreword, preface, introduction,
maps, illustrations, reference notes, bibliography, index. $28.50.)
White Americans' interest in American Indians has usually ended
with their conquest and subjection, from the Iroquois in the East to the
Comanches and Dakotas of the Great Plains. American literature has
much to say about Indian wars and Indian ways of life, but it almost
always has concentrated on the free Indian, or his destruction by ad-
vancing civilization. Few writers or scholars have evinced much concern
for the Indian in transition (or captivity, as the case may be), once the
aborigines' independence and culture were overwhelmed.
The value of this book lies principally in the fact that it carries the life
of Quanah Parker beyond his days as war chief of the Quahadis to his
death after almost forty years of "civilian" leadership among his people.
During this period the surviving Comanches-hunters like the eighty
generations before them, a people who had never erected permanent
dwellings-were transformed into cattle raisers (despite the govern-
ment's wish that they become farmers) in the white man's world. This
transformation is still not fully understood by Original Americans or by
those of European descent; it is a story that is far from ended, and one
whose outcome is not entirely clear.
Quanah would have been an unusual man in any race: a brilliant war
leader in one world, a shrewd negotiator in the other. As such he fought
long and well enough to become a frontier legend, knew when change
had become inevitable, survived tragedy and collapse and emerged as a
principal figure in assisting the transition of his remaining people from


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 31, 2015.