The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996

Book Reviews

written. Big D is a thorough overview of the city's modern history, but not a
definitive work on the subject due to the lack of notes. Big D is easily read and
holds the reader's attention throughout. Anyone interested in the history of
Dallas should read this work.
Dallas Historical Society JAMES B. MCCRAIN
Nina Otero-Warren of Santa Fe. By Charlotte Whaley. (Albuquerque: University of
New Mexico Press, 1994. Pp. 254. Introduction, epilogue, chronology,
notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-82631-529-1. $29.95.)
In telling the story of Nina Otero-Warren, Charlotte Whaley also chronicles a
significant period in the development of New Mexico and Santa Fe. This book
not only offers scholars interested in women's studies, particularly in Hispanic
women's studies, the life of a woman whose achievements could have easily filled
two lifetimes, but also offers a bonus to scholars whose interests extend to litera-
ture, the arts, New Mexican architecture, sheep ranching, Indian affairs, the
environment, the Los Alamos atomic bomb project, real estate in Santa Fe, and
the socioeconomic and political history of New Mexico in general and of Santa
Fe in particular.
Nina Otero-Warren was born in 1881 on the cusp of the political, social and
economic changes that the coming of the railroad brought to New Mexico. She
lived for eighty-four years and her life unfolds with its ups and downs alongside
that of New Mexico and of Santa Fe.
Otero-Warren came from a landed, affluent family accustomed to political,
social, and economic leadership and power. Their presence in New Mexico was
linked to its colonial past and to traditions steeped in three hundred years of
Spanish-Mexican convention, all of which were changing rapidly. Nina inherited
"solera," which is a vintner's term describing an aged wine blended from the
best grapes and used to strengthen new vintages. From this legacy Nina took the
best, and with unrelenting energy infused her leadership qualities into New
Mexico's new society, to which she readily adapted and from which she also
drew the best.
Charlotte Whaley, with deft pen backed by very substantial research, presents
a flesh-and-blood portrait of Nina Otero-Warren, who lived at the forefront of all
that was happening in New Mexico between 1881 and 1965. Whaley does ren-
der a sympathetic account. Occurrences of discord with family and others are
mentioned only in passing, suggesting another side of Nina's personality, about
which the reader is left to speculate. Nonetheless the picture is still a vibrant one
of a life woven with issues of scholarly interest. In this reviewer's opinion, this is a
book not to be missed, and Charlotte Whaley is to be congratulated for a job
well done.

University of Texas at San Antonio

1995

135

DORA ELIZONDO GUERRA

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101217/. Accessed August 23, 2014.