The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Book Reviews

factor was a robber baron still feel a heavy sense of responsibility, a responsibil-
ity to atone for the unjust acts that brought them their riches.
In contrast, the dominant myth in Texas has been the cowboy who, while
fiercely independent of his fellow man, has been highly dependent on nature.
Texan fortunes have most commonly been made in real estate, cattle, and oil,
areas in which luck and a talent for recognizing opportunities and taking ad-
vantage of them are more critical than Horatio Alger-type qualities. The va-
garies of the oil market in particular have encouraged a fatalistic attitude and a
tendency to view oil royalty income as play money.
While an interesting hypothesis, Sheehy's claim that oil money is somehow
unique ignores a great deal of evidence of excess on the part of the nouveau
riche in other times and in other places. Nineteenth-century industrial mag-
nates were certainly capable of incredible ostentation. Sudden wealth, whatever
its source, is likely to produce bizarre behavior.
There is no disputing that the Texas Big Rich have shown a flair for the un-
usual. Amarillo's Stanley Marsh 3 (not III but 3) invests in outdoor artwork. His
"Cadillac Ranch" featuring ten long-finned Cadillacs planted nose-down in a
pasture has been called the Stonehenge of the American West. Abilene's Jack
Grimm spends his money sponsoring expeditions to locate the Loch Ness Mon-
ster or Noah's Ark. Houston's Josephine Abercrombie, the world's only female
boxing impresario, invests in muscular young men. Bud Adams, Lamar Hunt,
Clint Murchison, and "Bum" Bright all bought themselves football teams.
Clayton Williams, the "quintessential Cowboy Capitalist," tried to buy himself a
governorship.
Texas Big Rich makes no pretense at offering serious economic analysis or so-
cial commentary. What it does offer are colorful though uncritical celebrity
profiles of the sort found in Ultra and Town and Country, publications where, in
fact, some of this material was originally published. Sheehy is a good writer but
never seems interested in questioning the basic premise of her subjects' lives--
that the only responsibility of those with riches is to enjoy them.
University of Houston-Downtown JAMES D. FAIRBANKS
The Hzstory of Apparel Manufacturing in Texas, 1897--98. By Dorothy D.
DeMoss. (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1989. Pp. x+270o. Preface,
notes, bibliography. $47.)
The twentieth-century growth and development of the Texas apparel indus-
try provides a fascinating study of entrepreneurship in a highly competitive in-
dustry. In this 1981 dissertation, Dorothy DeMoss examines the business histo-
ries of twenty-one Texas manufacturing companies, most of them originally
based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. These companies include such contempo-
rary notables as Haggar, Farah, Williamson-Dickie, Page Boy, and August
Lorch.
Built on a solid core of thirteen long-lived companies established before
World War I, the Texas apparel industry steadily grew and expanded until by
1981 only New York and California surpassed it as centers for clothing manu-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed September 23, 2014.