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

Southwestern Hzstorical Quarterly

ing of old-age and survivors' benefits between 1939 and 1950, and
David Berkowitz on disability insurance.
The best section brings together the wide-ranging inquiries of three
scholars. Political scientist Gary Freeman applies various models in an
impressive exploration of the origins and evolution of social security.
Economist Gaston Rimlinger compares the American program with
those of England, France, and Germany, and concludes that all are fac-
ing crises because their purpose has changed radically from that of
providing minimum protection for those individuals most at risk to
that of maintaining a standard of relative comfort for all citizens. His-
torian W. Andrew Achenbaum, in an exceptionally thoughtful and
provocative comment, traces the changing perceptions about social
security among the American public and politicians, and warns that
their "illusions" (p. 114) may prove to be more dangerous than eco-
nomic downturns, demographic pressures, or intergenerational con-
flict. Taken together, these articles move the focus from the past to the
present and the future, and in doing so, add a balance that makes this
volume a worthwhile experience for academics and laymen alike.
University of Texas at Austin CLARENCE LASBY
Three Roads to Chihuahua: The Great Wagon Roads that Opened the South-
west, 1823-1883. By Roy L. Swift and Leavitt Corning, Jr. (Austin:
Eakin Press, 1988. Pp. xxii+398. Preface, introduction, illustra-
tions, map, notes, bibliography, index. $24.95-)
This is a book with a misleading title. When Roy Swift took on the
late Leavitt Corning's project to write a history of the wagon roads into
northern Mexico, he promised Corning's widow that he would use the
title that Corning had planned. Nevertheless, over 90 percent of the
volume is devoted to a single road. It is the Chihuahua Road, which ran
from Indianola on the Gulf Coast to San Antonio, then west to the vi-
cinity of Del Rio, then looped in a great detour north around the Big
Bend country to La Junta and on to Ciudad Chihuahua.
The other two roads are the Santa Fe Trail and the Chihuahua Trail.
Since the Santa Fe Trail has been covered repeatedly by other scholars,
Swift devotes only a few pages to it. The Chihuahua Trail is the 1839
route pioneered by Dr. Henry Connelley from Chihuahua through La
Junta to Fort Towson, Oklahoma. It is given only minimal attention be-
cause it did not develop into a major route.
The coverage given the Chihuahua Road is, however, full and varied.
Swift begins with the early Spanish explorations, carefully pointing out
that major segments of the road began as Indian trails. He then traces
the development of the road from Stephen Austin's pre-revolution plans

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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 30, 2014.