The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

Book Reviews

crazy." As his film career and second marriage floundered badly in the
196os, Murphy lapsed deeper into failed investments and a nether-
world of big-time gambling, moving "closer and closer toward some
final apocalypse" (p. 320).
Graham insightfully probes Murphy's complicated psyche without a
lot of jargonistic clutter and is scrupulously fair in balancing the less
savory aspects of Murphy's character with his awe-inspiring wartime
achievements and his much-underrated acting ability. The author also
provides a richly evocative depiction of Murphy's varied environs, from
the rural poverty of Texas sharecroppers to the terrifying rigors of in-
fantrymen in combat and the illusory business of making movies in
postwar Hollywood. Observing that Audie Murphy, like Elvis Presley
and Howard Hughes, came to represent "American dreams gone
astray," Graham nevertheless concludes, "what an extraordinary life he
lived" (p. 345)-
Texas A&M University JOHN H. LENIHAN
Intercity Bus Lines of the Southwest: A Photographic History. By Jack Rhodes.
(College Station: Texas A& M University Press, 1988. Pp. xv+ 158.
Illustrations, acknowledgments, notes, bibliography, index, pho-
tos. $22.50.)
In telling the story of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico intercity
bus lines between 1907 and (roughly) 1955, Jack Rhodes has produced
a work that effectively, albeit with some difficulty, straddles the line be-
tween business history and the sort of pictorial work commonly associ-
ated with the history of railway equipment. The fundamental approach
is that of entrepreneurial history. The i 0o8 bus lines that plied the roads
of Texas in the mid-193os, along with their counterparts in Oklahoma
and New Mexico, are treated for the most part as individual creations
of men who seized the opportunity provided by the combination of rail
lines oriented toward mainline operation, rapidly shifting population,
and state (and later New Deal) highway programs. Individuals here as-
sume the central role, with both technological change and state action
playing clearly defined but definitely ancillary roles.
Those seeking a thorough treatment of the harder issues of intercity
transport should look elsewhere. State regulation is treated quite simply
as a matter of weeding out irresponsible operators, the value of state
operators' organizations is unquestioned, and postwar consolidation
(the bus on the dust jacket is a Greyhound) treated as inevitable. Even
for those fascinated by entrepreneurial history, the long paraphrases of
corporate and associational meetings may prove less than delightful.
But this book does have an audience, and that audience will be pleased.

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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 22, 2014.