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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

with the conflict between private property and public interest. This re-
sulted in the establishment of the Soil Conservation Service and the
state erosion-control districts, which launched the first significant ef-
forts to preserve land through classification procedures.
Farm families in America have found themselves caught between two
major forces in recent times: the growth of urbanization and the pro-
ductivity of the agricultural community. Opie states that the major con-
cern of farm families has shifted from how they get their farm to how
they keep their farm. In areas where farmland has been threatened by
urban sprawl, such devices as agricultural districting and zoning, right-
to-farm laws, and tax incentives have been utilized. Even with such
remedies, however, the federal policy has been one of trying to balance
farmland use and farmers' employment against food production and
acceptable prices. The policy has essentially emphasized subsidizing
farmers to control production while at the same time lowering food
prices for the American consumer. Opie declares that as production
costs have risen, such programs have had the effect of eliminating the
small independent farmer.
This book is not easy to digest, for Opie bombards the reader with
many challenges to traditional beliefs about the nation's agricultural
policies. Yet his focus upon the linkage between land policies and farm
programs is of enormous value for those trying to understand the
plight of the American farmers.
West Texas State University GARRY L. NALL
Power, Money and the People: The Making of Modern Austin. By Anthony
M. Orum. (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1987. Pp. xiv+404. Ac-
knowledgments, prologue, photographs, epilogue, appendix,
notes, index. $16.95.)
This interesting but flawed work by Anthony Orum, a professor of
sociology at the University of Texas at Austin from 1972 to 1986, seeks
to explain why and how Austin has grown since the 193os and how the
forces of growth have clashed with the interests of "the people." Draw-
ing primarily on newspaper research and his interviews with some 170
individuals, including many of the key figures in the city's recent his-
tory, Orum provides revealing and richly detailed views of Austin's
movers and shakers.
"Austin grew in the twentieth century .. ." contends Orum, "because
someone had a dream to make it into a better, not to say bigger, place"
(p. 47). A. P. Wooldridge introduced the dream of growth in 1888, and
it became a collective vision that was transformed into reality in the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed July 12, 2014.