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

Book Reviews

Hispanic laborers. Despite the formal title of the Guaraches, political integrity
seemed to be completely absent, as the two sides engaged in the same campaign
tactics, which included plying prospective voters with liquor, bringing in illegal
voters from Mexico, and hiring gunmen to intimidate the opposition.
As informative as the best parts of the book are, too much of the study is
devoted to the tiresome recitation of the results of all the city and county elec-
tions through the latter part of the nineteenth century, with very little analysis.
When Thompson reports the triumph of the Independent Club, successor to
the Guaraches, over the Martin machine in the 189os, the reader is left wonder-
ing why the reversal of fortunes occurred.
University of Texas at Arlington EVAN ANDERS
War Scare on the Rzo Grande: Robert Runyon's Photographs of the Border Conflct,
i913-i916. By Frank Samponaro and Paul Vanderwood. (Austin: Texas
State Historical Association, 1992. Pp. xv + 135. Preface, appendices, bib-
liography, index, photographs. $29.95.)
Robert Runyon was a community photographer living in Brownsville, Texas,
when the Mexican Revolution and subsequent border violence created a boon
for his business. Although many photographers documented these border
events, Runyon had two great advantages. Through a family connection to the
Mexican Constitutionalist rebel forces, he had privileged access to some events,
including the redistribution of land around Matamoros and the rebel attacks
on Ciudad Victoria and Monterrey, when he accompanied the rebel troops.
Additionally, Runyon owned a postcard shop in Matamoros, which provided
him with a convenient market to sell his exclusive views.
The authors give detailed accounts of the military campaigns of the Revolu-
tion, the bandit raids, and the troop buildup along the Texas border. They
also describe the development of the photographic postcard craze that fed
Runyon's business, and which they discussed at greater length in their award-
winning book, Border Fury: A Picture Postcard Record of Mexco's Revolution and
U.S. War Preparedness, 1910o-917 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico
Press, 1988). For anyone interested in Mexican-American intercultural rela-
tions, perhaps the most fascinating and disturbing chapter relates the near
racial war inspired by the Revolutionary Plan of San Diego, which called for
the execution of every Anglo male over the age of sixteen and provoked violent
retaliation by vigilantes and the Texas Rangers.
Samponaro and Vanderwood's earlier book was somewhat more successful,
however, for the cultural artifacts on which they based their research and re-
warding analysis were postcards sent through the mail with messages that also
betrayed the attitudes of the sender, adding another layer for historical analy-
sis. The authors interwove their historical description of the military campaigns
with an analysis of the social structure and cultural attitudes of the time.
In the case of this book, the historical artifacts under investigation are the
photographer's original negatives. Although this results in a more handsome
book, due to sharper reproductions, the authors don't attempt a visual analysis

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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 July 12, 2014.