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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Slope (1965). In their respective essays on these scholars, Allan G. Bogue and
Michael P. Malone give ample evidence of the trenchant analysis and breadth
of vision that make them deserving of distinction. Yet each appears afflicted by
a deficiency which may have limited the impact of their revisionism. Bogue
admits that the reader of Malin's major work, The Grassland of North Amerzca
(1947), "must strain at times to fit ideas and evidence into the structure of what
Malin apparently had in mind" (p. 231). Similarly, Malone notes that The Paczfic
Slope "is neither a flowing narrative nor for many easy to read, and complex
sentences have to be read and re-read" (p. 323). Turner's foremost defender
suffered from no such malady, but the very clarity of Ray Billington's prose,
according to Patricia Nelson Limerick's relentlessly critical chapter, made his
self-contradictions all the more visible as he labored throughout his career to
fit "swirls of uncooperative facts" (p. 300) into Turner's frontier formula.
Etulain's concluding survey of recent trends in western historiography, in
which he suggests that the time is ripe for the emergence of a post-Turnerian
synthesis, is disappointingly brief. The editor might have made better use of
his time and space with a fuller treatment of this subject and the omission of
his own chapter on Frederic Paxson, who appears distinctly out of his league
in this distinguished company.
North Carolina State Unzversity JAMES E. CRISP
The Hzghly Irregular Irregulars. By Frederick Wilkins. (Austin: Eakin Press, 1990.
Pp. ix+227. Preface, acknowledgments, afterword, notes, bibliography,
index. $17.95.)
Just One Riot: Epzsodes of Texas Rangers in the 2oth Century. By Ben Procter. (Aus-
tin: Eakin Press, 1991. Pp. xii + 175. Preface, epilogue, notes, bibliography,
index, photographs. $18.95.)
With the popularity of the Texas Rangers in the public mind, one might
think that surely the last word has been written by now, but these two offerings
by Eakin Press demonstrate that there have been gaps in the story of the Rang-
ers waiting to be filled. The Hzghly Irregular Irregulars tells the story of the vol-
unteer Texas Ranger companies which served in the United States Army dur-
ing the Mexican War, 1846-1848. Walter P. Webb devoted a chapter to the
topic in his outstanding work, The Texas Rangers (1935); now Frederick Wilkins
has focused on the activities in the Mexican War of the Rangers who won a
national reputation they never lost. Wilkins is best in his vivid descriptions of
the tactics and weapons used by the Rangers on the Texas frontier and later in
Mexico. The author says he wishes to "neither whitewash nor hero worship"
(preface) and he succeeds in portraying a balanced and well-researched nar-
rative. One might have hoped to read more of the little-known story of the
Rangers in U.S. service on the Texas frontier during the war, but his focus on
Ranger feats with the armies of Taylor and Scott is well placed. Perhaps histo-
rians will be frustrated with the haphazard citations of manuscript sources, but
students and general readers of the Mexican War or the Rangers will find
much to like in this book.

440

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 July 13, 2014.