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

Book Revzews

changing roles of landscape and western myth in the most recent fic-
tion by novelists like Leslie Marmon Silko and James Welch. Have we
adapted anywhere in the West? Stegner says no, generally (one excep-
tion he mentions is the Hispanic villages of northern New Mexico), but
a few places are in the process of doing so. He points to examples like
Corvallis, Washington, and Missoula, Montana, as towns that are slowly
coming to grips with the unique spaces they occupy.
Stegner's geographical focus in this book is ostensibly all of the West.
But I confess to some disappointment that his concentration is so much
on the public-lands western states. The Pacific Rim and the nonpublic-
lands West-West Texas, the Dakotas, and the western parts of Okla-
homa, Kansas, and Nebraska-are mentioned only briefly. Texans, it
seems, would benefit far more from hearing Wallace Stegner's observa-
tions on West Texas than to be presented yet another frontier novel by
Larry McMurtry. But so far Stegner's heart hasn't strayed from the Far-
ther West.
Texas Tech University DAN L. FLORES
The Kingdom in the Country: Wranglers, Shepherds, Miners and Bureaucrats,
Squatters and Gunfighters, Indians and Other Inhabztants of the Land No-
body Owns. By James Conaway. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Com-
pany, 1987. Pp. 293. Acknowledgments, sources. $17.95.)
The Kingdom in the Country is not history; it is an attempt to describe
from four points of view the natural legacy of the nation's public land
policies. James Conaway took a leave of absence from the Washington
Post to travel west with the purpose of discovering for himself the fed-
eral lands.
This federal presence dominates the economies and politics of the
western states, producing a rancor felt all the way to Washington, D.C.
During the Reagan administration this western revolt brought about
the appointment of James Watt as Secretary of the Interior. Watt set
out to "privatize" the federal lands to the outrage of conservationists,
but Conaway is not concerned here about politics played out in Wash-
ington. His focus is on the interactions among the bureaucrats of the
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service and
their clients. The groupings of clients become the four divisions of the
book.
Cattle and sheep men, mustangers, and a range detective who be-
longs in the nineteenth century populate the pages of "The Range."
Bud Eppers is a New Mexico stockraiser who continually battles
drought, predators, and BLM bureaucrats. Juan leases grazing rights

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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 July 24, 2014.