Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Maurine T. Wilson wrote a master's thesis entitled "Philip Nolan and
His Activities in Texas" at the University of Texas in 1932. Her mentors
included Eugene C. Barker, Carlos E. Castafieda, and Charles W.
Hackett, all of whom encouraged her in this work. Employed by the
University of Texas Library, she worked mainly in the Archives until
her death in 1959. Historian Jack Jackson, while searching for informa-
tion about Nolan, discovered her unpublished thesis, recognized its
great value, and vowed that someday it would be published. This book
represents the fulfillment of that vow.
The co-authors skillfully separate the real Philip Nolan and the fic-
titious character created by Edward Everett Hale in The Man Without
a Country. Then they launch into their story about one of the most enig-
matic personages ever to burst into the Texas scene. What little is
known about Philip Nolan is woven into the narrative. Eight well-
balanced chapters trace his character and career as bold pathfinder,
reckless mustanger, conniving entrepreneur, passionate adventurer,
betrayed filibuster, and martyred freedom fighter.
Especially good are the detailed reference notes at the end of the
text. A serious student will find gems of information imbedded in
them. Also, the selection of eleven contemporary maps showing Nolan's
field of operations between Natchez and the Rio Grande is a valuable
addition to the book.
Whereas Miss Wilson based her original manuscript on primary
sources for academic purposes, co-author Jackson expanded her work
with many materials not available to her and lent an interpretive analy-
sis to the study. His conclusion was that the historical record tells us
more about the intellectual and social climate of the period that
produced these studies than it does of Nolan himself. Until more evi-
dence comes to light about this puzzling figure, each reader must come
to his own conclusion about Nolan and his role in Texas history.
Karnes City ROBERT H. THONHOFF
Texas at the Crossroads: People, Politics, and Policy. Edited by Anthony
Champagne and Edward J. Harpham. (College Station, Tex.:
Texas A&M University Press, 1987. Pp. xii+309. Acknowledg-
ments, introduction, maps, tables, graphs, notes, epilogue, index.
This collection of ten essays does an outstanding job of supporting
the editors' contention that Texas is in the midst of many far-reaching
changes, and the way that the voters and policymakers deal with those
changes will significantly impact the state in the decades ahead. While
the book convinces the reader that Texas is, in fact, at a major crossroads
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 March 30, 2015.