The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

as early boardinghouses of Dallas, and the quiet sixty-year leadership of the Civic
Club, the "Adventurous Ursulines"-six nuns who arrived in Dallas on January
28, 1874, moved into a house without even a fireplace, much less a stove, and
began classes a week after their arrival (p. 204).
There is an essay-the authors use that appropriate English literature designa-
tion-on the Confederate Veterans Reunion of 1902, when "enough time had
elapsed to imbue the Civil War and the Old South with a nostalgic romantic
glow. Dallas was still in most respects a Southern town, and her residents regard-
ed the surviving veterans, now mostly in their sixties and seventies, as figures of
reverence" (p. 289).
Other essays concentrate on "Little Mexico"; African Americans; German,
Swiss, and Italian immigrants; the first women elected to the Dallas school board;
integration of the Texas League; Dallas women and social caring; and the utopi-
an La Reunion community. Many of the essays appeared originally in Legacies
magazine, a publication devoted to Dallas and Northeast Texas history. Other ar-
ticles were in Heritage News, a predecessor to Legacies. Both publication were spon-
sored by the Dallas Historical Society and the Dallas County Heritage Society.
Authors include Valentine J. Belfiglio, Larry Bowman, Diana Church, W. Mar-
vin Dulaney, Elizabeth York Enstam, Robert B. Fairbanks, Michael V. Hazel,
Jackie McElhaney, James Pratt, Gwendolyn Rice, Gerald D. Saxon, Thomas H.
Smith, Susanne Starling, and William H. Wilson.
This book may be as important as an example as it is as a history. Although
few Texas cities claim fourteen authors who write as well as they research, the
volume should inspire every city and village to preserve its history topic by topic.
The Way to the West: Essays on the Central Plains. By Elliott West. (Albuquerque:
University of New Mexico Press, 1995. PP. 244. Acknowledgments, intro-
duction, index. ISBN o-8263-1653-0. $19.95, paper.)
The relationship between social and environmental history has undergone
much scrutiny recently. Social historians argue that environmental historians ne-
glect the human part of the equation as they seek to tease out the relationships
between people and the physical world. Yet fine works that meld the best traits
of both social and environmental history increasingly threaten to blur the lines
between these subdisciplines.
In this fine volume, Elliott West goes further toward integrating these two
fields than has any previous scholar. An experienced social historian, West crafts
the kind of detailed social history that has characterized his distinguished ca-
reer, but with a new subject, the project of the environmental historian: the rela-
tionship between people and their environment. In this sophisticated and
intriguing work, West uses the categories of social history and the combination
of evidence that marks environmental history. It is a fine and fascinating study
that rightly puts human history as an overlay on natural history. In this it is one
of the most sophisticated pieces of work in a long time.



Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 30, 2016.

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