The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990

Book Reviews

(self-betrayal, wasted opportunity, bigotry, artistic integrity, and so on)
are universal, not merely regional. But a sense of place does intensify
the themes.
What comes through in the interviews is Katherine Anne Porter's
dedication to her craft-her confidence in her own genius, her in-
sistence that the short story is an honorable art form, and her self-
assurance of a high place in the history of American literature. "Can
you imagine," she said to one interviewer, "that I held my own and sur-
vived with people like Gertrude Stein and James Joyce and Hemingway
and that crowd?" (p. 169).
Sister Maura Elchner best summarized Porter's effect on her legions
of readers: "Titles like 'Flowering Judas,' 'Pale Horse, Pale Rider,'
'Noon Wine,' and Ship of Fools, linger in the mind like bell sounds in
quiet sunlight" (p. 175).
North Texas State University JAMES T. F. TANNER
Texas Prisons: The Walls Came Tumblzng Down. By Steve J. Martin and
Sheldon Ekland-Olson. Foreword by Harry M. Whittington. (Aus-
tin: Texas Monthly Press, 1987. Pp. xxix+289. Foreword, acknowl-
edgments, introduction, photographs, notes, index. $21.95.)
The Devil's Butcher Shop: The New Mexico Prison Uprising. By Roger
Morris. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988.
Pp. 268. Preface, sources, epilogue, notes, index, illustration.
$10.95, paper.)
Roger Morris, author of The Devil's Butcher Shop: The New Mexzco
Prison Uprising, notes that "the United States of America sends more
people to prison for longer terms than does any other industrialized
Western nation, save racist South Africa" (p. 221). His book, along with
Steve Martin and Sheldon Ekland-Olson's Texas Prisons: The Walls Came
Tumbling Down, allows these neighboring states to claim dubious honors
within their country's prison tradition. New Mexico hosted "the most
horrible penal revolt in American History" (p. 194); Texas defended its
correctional facilities in "the longest civil rights trial in the history of
American jurisprudence" (p. 50).
Morris has updated his artfully crafted 1983 account of the 1980
Santa Fe riot that ravaged the New Mexico State Penitentiary, leaving at
least thirty inmates dead in its wake. Martin and Ekland-Olson, at-
tempting to construct "a comprehensive and objective record" (p. xxi)
of the Texas prison system during a "period of revolutionary change"
(p. xxi), utilize more legalistic terminology to chronicle the recent events
that resulted in federal intervention in the state's prison administra-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/. Accessed December 27, 2014.