book is the examination of Koch's ranches, many of them legendary
outfits in the last century. The way in which these historic ranches now
function in our modern, computer-age world is the most fascinating
theme in the book.
Lincoln was closely involved in the day-to-day management of Koch's
ranches, and his personal experiences bring a unique outlook to his
story. Koch's ranching operations include the old Beaverhead Ranch in
Montana, the Matador in the Texas Panhandle, the Roberts Ranch in
Wyoming, and the Yellow House Ranch on the Texas South Plains
(once the southern third of the XIT). As Lincoln discusses each of the
ranches, the reader is treated to a description of life on the ranches as
well as an eye-opening treatise on the marked differences that exist in
the ranching industry in different parts of the country.
As the author describes each ranch, he covers a variety of topics, in-
cluding how and when Koch bought the ranch, what the history of each
ranch had been before the purchase, the unique problems of each
ranch, and the people involved in running each outfit. Lincoln also dis-
cusses the day-to-day, season-to-season work routine and management
plan of each ranch. It is this material that will ultimately make this a
useful book for future historians.
The present value is more limited. The eulogistic prologue, dedi-
cated to Fred Koch, is perhaps too detailed and comprehensive. It
alerts the reader, however, that the book is not a professional history, a
point that the author clearly states. It is one man's story, told by a per-
sonal friend and colleague. Although the book is admittedly not totally
objective, it is certainly enjoyable. It is a pleasant, anecdotal, yet highly
informative book that should be read by those with an interest in either
ranching history or modern ranching.
Texas Tech Universzty DONALD R. ABBE
The Great Prazrie Fact and Literary Imagnation. By Robert Thacker. (Al-
buquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1989. Pp. x+3ol.
Preface, introduction, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index.
We are always inventing a story to inhabit, locating ourselves in a spe-
cific place and a local history. So it is unnerving when we encounter a
landform that encourages us to feel we are both out of place and out of
time: for instance, the Great Plains of North America.
In The Great Prairie Fact and Lzterary Imaginatzon Robert Thacker does
a well-planned job of telling us what is at stake in artistic responses to
the prairies (the possibility of learning to be home in such a place) and
detailing the history of those responses through the nineteenth cen-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/. Accessed November 23, 2014.