The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989

Book Reviews

search through the Bureau of Engineering Research. After World War
II, the drive for professionalization included greater emphasis on
graduate training, a more science-based curriculum, and tougher ad-
mission requirements.
In the 1960s the University of Texas shared in the nationwide decline
in engineering enrollment, and as a result much of the energies of Dean
John J. McKetta, Jr. (1963-1969) went into student recruitment and
the improvement of teaching. In the succeeding years, during which
Earnest F. Gloyna, this book's coauthor, has served as dean, the college
has experienced dramatic increases in enrollment, external funding
for research, and endowment of professorships and fellowships.
McCaslin and Gloyna organize their narrative by administrative eras,
including department-by-department and laboratory-by-laboratory
accounts of instructional and research programs. This story is aug-
mented by chapters on research and student activities. The work relies
heavily on faculty minutes, official publications, and interviews. It would
appear that these sources are used thoroughly, if somewhat uncritically.
Friends of the College of Engineering will find here an exhaustive com-
pendium of people and events, but other readers may be disappointed
by the lack of a comparative framework. The authors note some of the
main currents in the professionalization of engineering and engineer-
ing education, and describe the contributions of university-based engi-
neering to regional economic development, but they do not really
ground their work in its historical context. The works of Monte A.
Calvert, Edwin T. Layton, Bruce Sinclair, and other historians of tech-
nology could have provided a basis for such contextual analysis. The
account of the college's contributions to economic development in
Texas suffers from a lack of contextual information about the indus-
tries themselves, particularly petroleum and electronics.
To write a comprehensive internal history of an institution such as
the College of Engineering is a valuable contribution in itself. Regret-
tably, the lack of comparative and contextual analysis will limit this
book's appeal to a larger audience.
Georgia Institute of Technology ROBERT C. MCMATH, JR.
Blessed Assurance: At Home with the Bomb in Amarillo, Texas. By A. G.
Mojtabai. (Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1986. Pp. xvi+
255. Advisory, notes, index. $16.95.)
Books with catchy titles are seldom as stimulating and rewarding as
their titles are clever. That is not the case with the present work, whose
title comes from a nineteenth-century hymn by Fanny J. Crosby. A nov-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed February 13, 2016.