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

Book Reviews

Hood's Texas Brigade, commanded by General Jerome B. Robert-
son, played an important role in the fighting on the Confederate right
on July 2. It was Hood's scouts who discovered the federal trains in an
exposed position behind Cemetery Ridge and caused Hood to question
Longstreet's orders to "attack up the Emmitsburg Road" rather than to
attack around Big Round Top. Longstreet, of course, refused to
change or even question Lee's orders-and perhaps an opportunity for
a victory on July 2 was lost.
The maps and photographs are numerous and well selected. The
footnoting includes a good mixture of both informational and refer-
ence notes, and the bibliography is complete, encompassing all major
primary and secondary source material concerning the battle. Gettys-
burg: The Second Day should be in every public and college library and
on the shelves of all scholars and serious students of the Civil War. I
would like to suggest that Harry Pfanz now turn his efforts and vast
knowledge of Gettysburg to writing the history of the crucial first day
of the battle. July 1 set the stage for the three-day battle and dictated
how the battle was fought.
Hill College HAROLD B. SIMPSON
Border Radzo: Quacks, Yodelers, Pitchmen, Psychics, and Other Amazing
Broadcasters of the American Airwaves. By Gene Fowler and Bill
Crawford. Foreword by Wolfman Jack. (Austin: Texas Monthly
Press, 1987. Pp. xi+282. Foreword, introduction, photographs,
map, selected bibliography, index. $18.95.)
To many readers this book will be nothing more than a nostalgia trip,
a delightful recollection of that border radio programming that blan-
keted North America for almost thirty years after Dr. J. R. Brinkley
opened station XER at Villa Acufia, Mexico, in 1931. Few radio lis-
teners who lived during those years, particularly those who dialed the
airwaves during long cross-country automobile trips or late-night bouts
with insomnia, could escape the X-stations' racy mixture of medical
nostrums, mail-order advertising, fundamentalist evangelism, populist
politics, and grassroots music. The X-stations were often controversial,
outrageous, and irreverent, but they were seldom uninteresting.
While this book is a treasure chest of nostalgia, it is also a valuable
reference for students of American history and popular culture. Writ-
ing in a highly engaging style and relying on an abundance of research
resources almost as diverse as border programming-interviews, pho-
nograph records and radio transcriptions, archival collections, news-
papers, books, and articles-authors Fowler and Crawford have pro-

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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 October 1, 2014.