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

Book Reviews

statehood. On a year-by-year and county-by-county basis, he shows how Texas ul-
timately "filled out" to its present 254 counties.
"Evolution" is an appropriate word in this book's subtitle, because it enables
one to compare earlier maps with later maps in order to see how Texas counties
developed spatially. As Gournay demonstrates, Texas was settled largely from
east to west from the early nineteenth century to the early twentieth century.
Consequently, early Texas counties are more irregular in shape and bear little
relationship to the cardinal directions of the compass, a legacy of their being
surveyed on the metes and bounds system. On the other hand, the Texas coun-
ties farther west, especially those in the Panhandle and Central Texas, tend to be
rectilinear and compass-oriented as a result of later, more standardized survey-
ing techniques. Gournay also correctly concludes that continued growth in
(West) Texas could result in new county development in the future.
University of Texas at Arlington RICHARD FRANCAVIGLIA
Border Cuates: A History of the U.S.-Mexican Twin Cities. By Milo Kearney and An-
thony Knopp. (Austin: Eakin Press, 1995. Pp. v+331. Bibliography, index.
ISBN 1-57168-057-8. $19.95, paper.)
The U.S.-Mexico line has a number of unique twin cities, a fact most readers
will never think about until they read the cogently written first chapter of this
book. The twin cities given emphasis here are Matamoros-Brownsville, Reynosa-
McAllen, Nuevo Laredo-Laredo, Piedras Negras-Eagle Pass, Ciudad Acufia-Del
Rio, Ojinaga-Presidio, Ciudad Juirez-El Paso, Nogales-Nogales, Mexicali-Calexi-
co, and Tijuana-San Diego.
The inclusion of San Diego is something of a surprise, since historically it has
never been a border town, and never considered itself one until recent times,
and then only reluctantly. Nevertheless, the authors have covered it thoroughly.
Like most histories, this one begins at the beginning. First there were the
foundings, then the inevitable class divisions and corruptions. When the Ameri-
cans arrived, the border towns actually started becoming twin cities. The Civil
War and the Gilded Age had their effect. The Mexican Revolution stormed back
and forth along the international boundary, leading to the ups and downs of the
192os and 193os. The post-World War II years brought the twin cities both prob-
lems and prospects, followed by the maquiladora era and the free-trade zone. The
authors do not speculate about the future.
From my perspective, the few errors seem so inconsequential as to be unwor-
thy of mention. It seems sufficient to say that this is a very carefully written, thor-
oughly researched book, perhaps as close to being definitive as any we will
encounter during our lifetimes. However, the book's greatest strength-its at-
tention to detail-is also its greatest weakness.
Altogether there are twelve chapters, but each has multiple subheadings, two
(and occasionally three) on each page not being unusual. On practically any
page, or in practically any paragraph, one encounters many names, events,
dates, and places. While one can argue that this is factual history, it can make for

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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 April 18, 2014.